The weather has been cooling down and I’m absolutely loving it. Not only do I get to pull out my fabulous, Fall booties, but I also get to cook some of my favorite heartier recipes. This lamb bolognese certainly hit the spot. You’ll need this recipe for your next Sunday night dinner.
If you’ve never had lamb before, it definitely has a distinctive taste and flavor. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it other than saying it is gamey. Some people love lamb the first time they try it while others need a little time to get used to the taste. I used to not be so keen on lamb, but now I love it. It also is low in fat and high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent choice for a healthy diet. If you aren’t ready to venture out and try lamb, you may substitute it for ground bison or ground beef for this recipe.
For this recipe you will need:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, small dice
2 celery ribs, small dice
1 large carrot, small dice
1 lb. ground lamb
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 can crushed tomatoes and their juices
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh Thyme, chopped
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Beef broth, as needed
1 lb egg noodle pappardelles
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Begin by heating 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot and sauté the onion, celery, and carrot over medium-high heat until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Add the ground lamb and season with red pepper flakes, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the meat until it is browned.
Add the tomato paste to the pan and pincé, or cook it out, to give it more of a mellow taste and add some depth to the dish. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce by half, another 5 minutes or so. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, chopped thyme, ground cinnamon, and about 1 cup of beef broth. Give everything a big stir and bring to a strong simmer. Once the bolognese has reached a simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it cook slowly. Add more broth and allow it to cook off as this is where the flavors develop. Stir and taste frequently! Cook for about 2-2.5 hours.
During the last 30 minutes of the cooking process, bring a large pot of SALTY water to a boil. *Remember: pasta water should be salty like the sea.* Cook the pasta until al dente. Remove 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Transfer the pasta with a slotted spoon directly into the bolognese, allowing some of the starchy pasta water to loosen up and enhance the ragu. If your bolognese needs more liquid, add the reserved pasta water.
Garnish the bolognese with freshly chopped Italian parsley and fresh parmesan. Bon Appetit!