|Pasta With Lamb Ragu and Pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 pound ground lamb
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped or crushed, with liquid
1/2 cup cream, half-and-half or milk
1 pound dried linguine or other long pasta
Freshly grated pecorino Romano
Put olive oil in a medium skillet and turn heat to medium. A minute later, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, set a pot of water to boil for pasta and salt it.
When onion is ready, add lamb to skillet and cook, stirring to break up any clumps, until all traces of red are gone, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice to lamb mixture, then adjust heat so it simmers briskly. (This sauce may be covered and refrigerated for a day or two, or put in a closed container and frozen for several weeks. Reheat before completing.)
Place pasta in boiling water. Add cream, half-and-half or milk to sauce and continue to cook, stirring occasionally; taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Cook sauce until it is thick but not dry. When pasta is done, toss it with sauce and about half the cheese. Pass remaining cheese at the table. - Yield 4 servings. Time 30 minutes. Source: The New York Times
Notes: Cook the sauce long enough so that the tomatoes break up, but not so long that it becomes completely dry; if it does, add a little more milk or some water. The pasta should be cooked to taste, drained and sauced quickly.