Hearty and Meaty Spring Ragout

I've mentioned a few times on this blog that while I am far from being vegetarian I have been making efforts to eat less meat for a variety of reasons...but sometimes I crave it. Today was one such instance. Maybe it was that I swam 1/2 mile and hauled concrete blocks about 5 miles (one way) on my Mundo--what, do I think I'm Jack Lalanne or something--but I really had a hankering for lamb, which is my favorite meat, by the way. Anyhow, I made the pictured recipe for Lamb Ragout and ate it tossed with whole wheat penne. Like most of what I post here...it is really easy to make, nutritious, and really delicious. It would also be great over rice or as a pizza topping.

Tomato, Carrot, and Lamb Ragout
Makes about 4 cups
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound lamb, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1 teaspoon basil leaves
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
2 cups tomato puree
½ cup red wine
2 cups chick broth

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy sauce pot. Add the lamb, onion, and carrot; cook until the lamb and vegetables just start to brown, then add the garlic, sugar, salt, fennel, pepper, basil, and oregano; cook another minute. Stir in first the red wine, then the tomato and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cook the ragout for about 30 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened, and the lamb is tender. Toss with pasta, serve over rice, or use as a pizza topping.