Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Heart Pasta

Like every true Italian, I consider pasta as an essential food group. I love new twists on classic pasta recipes and always keep my eyes peeled for creative recipes. Giada DeLaurentiis is usually my go- to for Italian recipes, both classic and trendy. (might I also add that I love her kitchen, her hair and her entire wardrobe!) She uses fresh ingredients and the flavors are phenomenal. Thanks to my Food Network app on my new favorite toy (my iPhone), I have a plethora of Giada's recipes at my fingertips and best of all, video clips! This Lamb Ragut with Mint was a tasty Sunday meal that left our stomachs smiling. The lamb has a unique flavor and gives a traditional meat sauce an extra sparkle. Cooking the lamb with red wine adds a rich element and when the ricotta is added to the sauce, the ever so slight creaminess smooths it out. The addition of mint tossed in with the rigatoni is a wonderful surprise for the taste buds!

Lamb Ragut with Mint
Recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis

1 lb. rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup red wine
4 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes until cooked al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook until tender. Add the ground lamb, salt and pepper to flavor and cook until the lamb has cooked entirely. Add wine to the skillet and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Add marinara sauce and cook until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Add ricotta and stir until mixed. Toss the pasta with the sauce and finish with the mint.

This recipe is 100% food for the soul and thank goodness I married someone who is just as much of a pasta freak as I am. Looks like I'm turning him into an Italian after all.

In other news, I am still pouring over home design blogs and obsessing over do-it-yourself design projects. Anthropologie meets Pottery Barn...I think this is the look I love the most. I can't wait to execute some fun creative projects to share. Happy weekend to you all! I am on my third cup of coffee and cannot seem to get enough of Coffee Mate's peppermint mocha creamer, a.k.a. liquid Christmas. 'Tis the Season!

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