Thick Spaghetti with Lamb-Saffron Ragu and Pecorino Romano

Ground lamb adds a flavor boost to this traditional ragu.

3 pounds Barilla Thick Spaghetti
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups diced yellow onion
2-1/4 pounds ground lamb shoulder
3 cups dry white wine
3 cans (18 ounces) whole San Marzano tomatoes
3 cups water
1 tablespoon saffron threads
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
12 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  1. Bring salted water to boil in steam-jacketed kettle or large stockpot on stovetop. Add pasta; cook 2 min. less than directed on package.
  2. Heat oil in large rondeau on medium heat. Add onions; cook 5-7 min. or until translucent, stirring frequently.
  3. Increase heat to high; add lamb. Cook 8-10 min. or until meat is rendered and browned. Deglaze pan with wine. Cook until most liquid is evaporated. Add tomatoes and water; coarsely break up tomatoes with potato masher. Bring sauce to a simmer; reduce heat to medium low.
  4. Add saffron and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer mixture 10 min.
  5. Add cooked pasta and cheese to sauce; toss to coat.