Quick Lamb-and-Olive Sauce with Fusilli

Quick Lamb-and-Olive Sauce with Fusilli
  • 4Servings


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 pound ground lamb, patted dry
  • 1/2 carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • About 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • About 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • 1 pound short or long fusilli pasta or curly spaghetti (look for an imported italian pasta)
  • Pecorino-romano cheese, for serving
  • 1/4 cup pistachios or almonds, toasted and chopped, for garnish


Char the bell pepper under the broiler or over an open flame until blackened all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let cool, then peel, seed and chop.

In a dutch oven, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over high heat until smoking. Add the lamb and brown well. Add the carrot, onion, garlic and rosemary; season liberally with salt and pepper. Stir in the cloves, bay leaf and orange zest. Once the onion has softened, add the tomato paste and stir until fragrant, 1 minute or so. Stir in the wine to deglaze the pot. Add the stock, milk, olives and bell pepper. Lower the heat and simmer.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta cooking water. Remove the bay leaf from the sauce, then toss the pasta with the sauce, adding enough of the pasta cooking water to coat the pasta evenly. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls with the pecorino-romano and chopped nuts.