Simmering on the stove

This hearty ragu with ground lamb is perfect for an off-season dinner.

Penne pasta with a lamb and mushroom sauce. —Tina Miller

Sponsored by Cronig’s Markets

As we head deep into the off-season, it is the perfect time for hearty meals. Step out of your routine and grab some fresh ground lamb from the meat section at Cronigs when thinking about what to cook. Ground lamb is a nice change, and pairs very well with fresh cremini mushrooms. This is a quick recipe to prepare, though it is nice to simmer for at least 45 minutes to infuse the flavors. 

Lamb and Mushroom Ragu

Serves 4

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced 
1 yellow onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground lamb
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
½ cup white wine
⅓ cup chicken or beef broth
1 14.5 oz can diced Muir Glen tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Sprinkle crushed red pepper
Penne pasta

Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan. Add sliced mushrooms, stir, and let them saute for about 10 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and add diced onions, shallots, and garlic. Combine and let cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add ground lamb, breaking up the meat and combining all ingredients. Cook until lamb is cooked through. Add chopped rosemary, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add white wine and let reduce. Add broth and diced tomatoes, combine, and cover — lower heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and let it reduce slightly for at least another 15 minutes. Cook penne pasta to your liking. Add pasta to the sauce and combine. Top with some shaved Parmesan cheese.