HOW TO MAKE IT
1. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the ground lamb, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots, thyme and rosemary sprigs, bay leaf and the chopped onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and onion are softened, about 4 minutes. Add the red wine and boil over high heat until reduced by three-quarters, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and tomato sauce and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs and the bay leaf and keep the sauce hot.
2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and pat the chopped thyme and rosemary onto the meat. Add the chops to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until well browned outside and medium-rare within, about 3 minutes per side.
The lamb ragù can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Rewarm before serving.
Malloreddus is a small Sardinian ridged pasta that is often flavored with saffron; it can be white, bright yellow or tricolored. It’s available at many specialty food stores.
The Cannonau variety (known outside Sardinia as Grenache) is a classic local match for lamb—its spicy, cherry-and-plum notes pair well with the meat’s gamey depth of flavor. For this impressive chop-and-pasta main course, search out a substantial bottling.
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