Cellentani with Spicy Lamb Ragout and Chicory

For The Flavor Experience, this recipe was made with Australian lamb. Chicory adds a bitter note to balance the rich meat sauce.

4 pounds Barilla Cellentani
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 diced medium yellow onions
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
4 pounds ground lamb
1 quart red wine
4 bay leaves
as needed salt
as needed black pepper
4 bunches chopped chicory
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups grated romano cheese
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. In a large pan, heat half of the oil and saute the onions, pepper flakes, and rosemary until the onions are translucent. Add the lamb and brown it, breaking up the chunks of meat. Deglaze with the wine and simmer to reduce it by half. Cover the meat with water and add the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce until it is reduced and flavorful. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stems. Keep the sauce warm.
  3. Blanch the chicory in salted water. Drain. Heat the remaining oil and saute the chicory with the garlic until it is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

For each serving, to order: Reheat 1 1/2 cups pasta in simmering water. Drain and add it to a pan with some of the sauce and some of the chicory. Toss them together and stir in about 1 tablespoon cheese. Plate.