A personal all-time favorite. I used to make this for my dates and still do for my friends. The recipe is near impossible to mess up. It's a series of "add ingredients, simmer, repeat." Lots of opportunity for paying attention to your guests without ruining the food. As written, the recipe is very spicy and I recommend not using as much of the spicy ingredients if you're susceptible to spice.
I also recommend making a double or triple batch and freezing. It's wonderful over pasta, crusty bread slices, or spaghetti squash!
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves - chopped
1 tablespoon red chili flakes (less if you're sensitive to spice)
2 bay leaves
1/2 pound coarsely ground lamb
1/4 cup red wine
16-oz can, peeled whole tomatoes
2 red peppers - roasted, peeled, seeded, julienned (I use the ones in jar; also, use less if you're sensitive to spice)
1 pound spinach - washed & roughly torn (or baby arugula)
1/4 cup black olives - pitted (Kalamata, nicoise, Gaeta)*
1/4 cup pine nuts - lightly toasted*
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese - grated
salt and black pepper to taste
*I leave out the olives & pine nuts
Heat a bottom-lined, 2-quart saute pan to hot, and add the olive oil. Cook the garlic cloves, chili flakes, and bay leaves for 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and reduce for about 3 minutes until syrupy. Mix in the tomatoes and peppers and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients and cook an additional 10 minutes. Correct the seasoning and serve over your favorite pasta.
*Ground lamb may be hard to find. When you find it, buy extra and freeze it until you can make this dish.
I personally prefer the consistency of diced tomatoes. You can either buy diced tomatoes in the can, or cut the tomatoes from the can before adding them to the pan. Or, like you see me do, crush them with your spatula, carefully, in the pan.
The recipe calls for 1 pound of spinach; I bought a box of salad spinach that, turns out, is only 5 oz. So if you actually find/buy 1 pound of spinach, you will have a lot more than what you see in the video - and that's OK. It cooks down.
Recipe credit: Chef Richard Rubin, "The Farmers Market Cookbook"
Music credit: "Fretless" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License