Sunday, August 16, 2015
Lamb & Pine Nut Bolognese
Shyster Jersey Lawyer Friend's birthday, surely a day of meaning and reflection to her, basically boils down to just one thing to me: I've got to cook the woman some lamb.
This is not a negotiable point. Lamb is my friend's very favorite food. She has told me this on many occasions, most frequently around those times that her birth date draws near.
Demanding as she is, the woman highly values experimentation. And so when the thought occurred to me to meld lamb and pine nuts into a pasta sauce, not once did I concern myself about disappointed her.
Or all of you.
Finely chop three carrots, three celery stalks, one medium red onion, one leek, six garlic cloves and some hot pepper (optional), then saute in olive oil under medium heat until softened.
Add 2 pounds of ground lamb and 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, incorporate and cook until browned.
Add one cup of red wine, increase the heat to high and reduce until the wine has evaporated.
Add one cup of milk. Cook until the milk has evaporated.
Add two 28-ounce cans of tomatoes and 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh mint leaves, turn the heat down to low and allow the sauce to simmer very gently for around two hours. (If the sauce reduces too much or becomes too thick you can always add some more milk or even water.)
When the sauce is done cooking add another handful of chopped fresh mint, stir and simmer for a minute or two.
And then serve with the pasta of your choice.
This sauce, like so many others, tastes even better the next day. And so I made sure to send my friend home not only with a big hunk of birthday cake but also a container of what turned out to be a really nice sauce.