For the ragu: Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven
over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, pat the ground lamb dry and add to pan, brown to caramelize
the meat, season with rosemary, marjoram
, cloves, salt, and pepper. Once the meat has browned, add the onion, carrot, garlic and cook to soften 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in stock then wine, reduce heat to low and gently simmer
In salted boiling water, undercook the pasta by 2 minutes from package directions. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saucepot over medium heat, whisk
in 2 tablespoons flour, 1 to 2 minutes, whisk in the milk
and simmer to thicken. Season the bechamel sauce
with salt, pepper, and nutmeg
, to taste.
the pasta and add back to the pasta pot. Toss the pasta with the lamb ragu
and some of the reserved starchy cooking water to loosen. Pour the pasta into a large casserole
. Scatter the spinach
around on top of pasta.
Combine the ricotta with mint and/or parsley
with ricotta evenly around the casserole. Pour the bechamel sauce in even layer around the casserole and top with grated cheese. Cool and store for make-ahead meal. Reheat in 350 degree F oven, covered, for 30 minutes then raise the heat to 425 degrees F and bake uncovered, until brown and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
To serve immediately, transfer the casserole to a preheated 425 degree F oven and bake about 15 to 20 minutes, to brown.