Wednesday, January 14

Lamb Bolognese

This rustic bolognese features hearty pieces of vegetables and ground lamb

Spaghetti with Lamb Bolognese Sauce

It's January and many of us are trying to be healthy, but it's also full-on winter and the cold weather mandates some warm and comforting meals. This hearty bolognese is full of chunky vegetables and meaty pieces of pancetta and ground lamb - it's actually more of a ragu than a sauce. After some initial prep work and browning, the bolognese simmers on the stove to develop and concentrate deep meaty flavor. It's actually even better if it's made ahead, and you can easily make up a batch for dinners later in the week or to freeze. I include directions for serving the bolognese with spaghetti, but if you're looking for a healthier option, it would be just as good over polenta.

Note: I love the flavor of the lamb in this bolognese, but you could substitute it with ground beef for a more traditional sauce.

More Bolognese Recipes:
- The Ultimate Bolognese
- Traditional Bolognese
- Weeknight Bolognese

Spaghetti with Lamb Bolognese:
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 lb. dried spaghetti
- 1 c. canned crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 c. beef stock
- 3/4 c. half and half
- 1/4 c. red wine
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 portobello mushrooms, diced
- 3 oz. pancetta, diced
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- fresh nutmeg
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- grated parmesan, for serving

  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  • Add in the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, or until the fat starts to render.
  • Add in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms and cook for another 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.
  • Turn up the heat to high, add in the ground lamb, and break up into pieces with a wooden spoon. Season with a couple large pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Leave the lamb to brown for a few minutes without stirring, then stir and let it continue to brown until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Add in the red wine, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add in the tomatoes and beef stock and another pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for at least an hour. Stir occasionally and make sure it doesn't get too dry (add more stock if needed).
  • Remove the lid, stir in the half and half, and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • At this point, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and a cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 c. pasta cooking water.
  • Toss the pasta, pasta water, and sauce together and serve with grated parmesan.

Serves four-six