Slow-Cooker Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni

1, 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes

1 C. dry red wine

1 large yellow onion, finely diced

1/4 C. tomato paste

1/4 C. fresh oregano leaves (or 3 tsp. dried)

4 garlic cloves, minced

3-lb. boneless lamb shoulder roast, halved (see note)

1 tsp. dried red chile flakes

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1 to 2 T. red wine vinegar

1 lb. dried rigatoni

Parmesan cheese, for grating

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes and juices, wine, onion, tomato paste, oregano, garlic and chile flakes. Season the roast with the salt and nestle it in the tomato mixture. Cover and cook until the meat is very tender and can easily be pulled apart, about 6 hours on high or 9 to 10 hours on low.

Shred the meat with two forks and stir it into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt as needed. Add enough vinegar to brighten the flavor.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Return the pasta to the same pot and add enough of the sauce to coat the noodles, stirring over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes.

Serve the pasta with another big spoonful of the sauce on top of each and plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Note: Special order a lamb shoulder roast from your butcher or substitute cubed stew meat and reduce the cooking time to about 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

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