I Can't Stop Eating This Finger-Lickin' Good (Healthy!) Meal...

I Can’t Stop Eating This Finger-Lickin’ Good (Healthy!) Meal…

finger lickin good ragu

How often can you cook a meal that literally is so finger-lickin’ good that you don’t even care about over-eating.

You savor every single bite.

You try to distract yourself from the hot leftovers on the stove so that you don’t just keep eating and eating and eating.

Well that just happened to me, and I wanted to share it with you right away.

Normally, I *don’t* do my pasta sauce like this – but tonight my husband and I were experimenting.

He’s a great cook, and it turned into a magical meal!

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Thankfully before I devoured this meal I took a 2.5 mile grueling hike in the CO mountains where I live.

I was ravenously hungry when I got home!

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Hatch Green Chile Ragu

Serves 6-8

Gluten Free, Dairy Free


  • 1.5 Lbs Sweet Tomatoes (I used heirlooms because they’re in season.  The little bitty grape ones.  Oh. My. Gosh.  How delicious!)
  • 20 Cloves of garlic, diced (Live life on the edge, why don’t ‘ya?)
  • 1/2 Cup EVOO
  • 2 Red Onions (I didn’t have white – but I think these were perfect.)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Tapenade (I get mine fresh from the olive bar at Whole Foods.  Make sure it doesn’t have canola oil!!)
  • 1 Lb. Ground Lamb (Mine is from U.S. Wellness Meats.  It’s VERY lean and super-delicious!)
  • 1 Cup Hatch Green Chiles (These are seasonal where I live!  If you don’t have them available, try roasting another green pepper, preferably one with some heat to it!)
  • 1 Box Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta (Gluten Free)
  • 2/3 Cup Red Wine


  1. Roast peppers in oven – at about 425 and until soft and with ‘grill marks’ on it.
  2. Boil 4 quarts water in pot for pasta.  Add salt to it as well 😉
  3. Heat 1/4 Cup Olive Oil in Saucepan
  4. When Oil is hot, but not burning, add garlic and allow to simmer for 30 seconds in oil.  This infuses the oil with delicious garlic flavor!
  5. Now add onion and cook until translucent.  Do not burn anything on the bottom of your pan – and don’t let them get brown!  My motto when making a garlic and onion base for sauce or soups: If you see brown, turn the heat down!
  6. Once the onions are translucent, add red wine and simmer until the onions are saturated in wine and there’s almost no more liquid.
  7. Now add your tomatoes.  I did NOT boil and peel the tomatoes, which is common in sauces, because I used sweet little grape-sized heirlooms and their skin is delicious and delicate.  Yes, they were organic!  😉
  8. Add Olive Tapenade.  This gives the pasta a beautiful salty depth.
  9. Saute your hatch chiles or other pepper (yes it’s already roasted) in 1/8 cup EVOO to bloom them and really bring out their flavor.
  10. Add sliced hatch chiles.  Remember – if you’re using a pepper with spice – your ragu is gonna have some spice – so be prepared!  Simmer on low heat.
  11. While the tomatoes are cooking, add your quinoa pasta to boiling water.  With Ancient Harvest, I only cook for 6 minutes and stir CONSTANTLY.  This has produced the best results for me every time.  Quinoa pasta overcooks as quickly as avocadoes turn brown – so watch it and stir it frequently!
  12. Once your quinoa is under control in it’s pot and being stirred frequently (set a timer for every minute if you need to), saute your lamb.  Add a bit of salt to the lamb if you’re using US Wellness Meats lamb – you won’t be adding salt to much else in this dish.  Because the lamb doesn’t have much fat, I like to add a little bit of olive oil to the pan – about 1/4 cup maximum.
  13. When the lamb is browned nicely, add to the tomatoes and veggies.
  14. When your quinoa is ready, quickly shock the quinoa, but don’t rinse.  Add to tomatoes & veggies that are simmering.
  15. You may simmer this for 5 minutes or so on low (not so much that the quinoa gets soggy) so that the flavors blend together.

Serve to people you LOVE – because they deserve this delicious gluten-free meal.

My husband’s response after dinner was the best.  He sat back and said, “honey, I don’t think I’m going to make it to that protein-ice-cream dessert you made”.

The ice cream will wait til tomorrow!