Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the relief of pasta: pappardelle with lamb ragu

It should come as no surprise that as soon as our stove top was turned on, the first thing I NEEDED to cook was pasta. I was dying for pasta. I can't even believe that I went as long as I did without pasta, but the rice I was eating every day was reminiscent of my childhood, so I made it through. The stove finally got turned on right as the really cold weather hit, so I needed to focus on warm, filling, gutsy food, and preferably something that would give me an excuse to go up to my new cute local butcher. Mmmmm meat.

I wanted a meaty ragu of some sort. I've done ragus with duck, rabbit, beef, veal, but strangely enough I've never made any with lamb. I found this recipe from Andrew Carmellini, who I love, and was excited by some of his simple but different touches. Fennel seed, coriander, cumin, a touch of fresh mint to finish. The result was a deeply umami sauce that was perfect for a cold winter night, and it was really simple to put together. Recipe after the jump:

From Food & Wine Magazine

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3/4 pound fresh pappardelle
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 tbsp chopped mint

1. In a large cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Add the lamb, coriander, fennel, cumin, rosemary and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the stock and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, shaking well. Add the pasta to the sauce. Add the butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss over low heat. Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with the ricotta and mint.


Megan said...

Did you make the papardelle too? It looks perfect.

faycat said...

Yeah, I always use Marcella Hazan's recipe, of course.