Lamb Ragu with Pumpkin Zucchini


With half a human head-sized zucchini left after baking the zucchini bread, it’s time to make dinner. Tomorrow I’m starting my birthday morning with a 13-mile training run, so immediately pasta comes to mind. Except…I happen to have a tube of polenta in the pantry…which sounds a little more gourmet. I also happen to have Oregon-grown lamb from SuDan Farms in the freezer, and garden fresh tomatoes. I like to use local ingredients whenever I can…so it looks like my next meal is going to be pretty darn close to completely locally grown. Not to mention, super quick and easy! Lamb ragu with zucchini, it is! The following recipe makes 2-3 servings, but you can easily double the recipe. Lamb Ragu is also a very versatile recipe; you can add carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms or any other veggies you like. Instead of polenta, you can also serve over whole wheat pasta, quinoa or brown rice.

1/2 pound ground lamb

2 tsp. olive oil

3 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 shallot, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups zucchini, chopped (doesn’t have to be pumpkin zucchini)

1/2 tube prepared polenta

1 can tomato sauce

1/4 cup red wine

a few mint leaves (or basil if you prefer)

parsley to garnish

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

dash cayenne pepper

Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

In a large pan, add one tsp. of olive oil and saute ground lamb until browned on medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute until soft. Add tomatoes until they begin to soften. Add zucchini and garlic, saute a few minutes. Add can of tomato sauce and red wine, bring to a boil. Turn down heat after a few minutes and simmer another 5-10 minutes. Add cayenne, salt, pepper and mint leaves.

Cut the half tube of polenta into 1-inch slices. Cook according to package directions, or saute on each side in 1 tsp. olive oil for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat.

Pour ragu over a few slices of polenta, and garnish with chopped parsley and parmesan if you like. Serve with a simple salad.

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