LAMB BOLOGNESE

THANKSGIVING HAS COME AND GONE AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE TURKEY FOR ANOTHER YEAR.  NO MORE RECIPES FOR LEFTOVERS EITHER -- TURKEY SOUP, TURKEY SALAD, TURKEY MEATBALLS, TURKEY CURRY, OR TURKEY TETRAZINNI.

CLEANSE YOUR PALATE WITH A DIFFERENT KIND OF PASTA BOLOGNESE; THIS ONE MADE WITH LAMB INSTEAD OF BEEF, VEAL OR PORK.  IT'S A STOP IN A JOURNEY INSPIRED BY A SUBLIME WHITE-SAUCE LAMB RAGU WE HAD AT LA TRIPPA IN MILAN.  MINE IS MADE WITH A WHISPER OF TOMATO, GROUND SHOULDER OF LAMB AND THE USUAL INGREDIENTS FOUND IN THE CONVENTIONAL BOLOGNESE.  IT'S NOT EXACTLY LA TRIPPA'S, BUT IT'S A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

 1 LARGE RED ONION
 3 MEDIUM CARROTS
 2 CELERY STALKS
 1 lb GROUND LAMB SHOULDER
 1 cup DRY WHITE WINE
 1 cup WHOLE MILK
 1 MEDIUM TOMATO
 2 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
 1 PACKAGE OF IMPORTED SPAGHETTI, BUCATINI OR CHITARRA
 FRESH GROUND PARMESAN CHEESE
 PARSLEY FOR GARNISH

1

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 325º

PEEL AND DICE ONION, CARROTS AND CELERY.

MELT 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER IN 2 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL IN A HEAVY-BOTTOMED POT. ADD THE DICED VEGETABLES, COVER AND SWEAT FOR 5-10 MINUTES ON MEDIUM LOW FLAME.

ADD THE GROUND LAMB AND USING LARGE WOODEN FORK, PRESS AND STIR THE MEAT WITH THE VEGETABLES UNTIL THE LAMB LOSES ALL IT'S RED COLOR.

ADD A CUP OF WHITE WINE AND SIMMER UNTIL IT IS ABSORBED.

ADD A CUP OF MILK AND COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY, UNTIL IT TOO IS ABSORBED.

MEANWHILE, SCORE THE TOMATO WITH A SERRATED KNIFE ON THE SMOOTH END. PLACE A BOX GRATER OVER A BOWL AND HOLDING THE TOMATO'S SCORED END AGAINST THE WIDEST HOLES GRATE THE TOMATO PULP INTO THE BOWL. STIR INTO THE POT.

REMOVE THE LEAVES FROM THE THYME STEMS. CHOP AND ADD TO THE POT.

COVER THE POT AND PLACE IN THE OVEN. BAKE FOR ABOUT AN HOUR, CHECKING PERIODICALLY TO MAKE SURE NOT ALL THE LIQUID HAS EVAPORATED. IF NECESSARY, ADD SMALL AMOUNTS OF WHITE WINE.

BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY. ADD THE PASTA AND BOIL TILL IT IS AL DENTE. TOWARDS THE END OF THE COOKING SCOOP A CUP OF THE PASTA WATER FROM THE POT.

DRAIN THE PASTA. IN THE SAME POT, ADD HALF OF THE LAMB BOLOGNESE AND 1/2 CUP OF PASTA WATER. ADD THE DRAINED PASTA AND COOK BRIEFLY OVER TO BLEND THE INGREDIENTS ADDING MORE SAUCE IF NECESSARY. THE SAUCE SHOULD COAT BUT NOT DROWN THE PASTA.

PLACE IN A WARM BOWL. SPRINKLE WITH A 1/2 CUP OF PARMESAN CHEESE. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED PARSLEY AND SERVE WITH MORE CHEESE ON THE SIDE.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

 1 LARGE RED ONION
 3 MEDIUM CARROTS
 2 CELERY STALKS
 1 lb GROUND LAMB SHOULDER
 1 cup DRY WHITE WINE
 1 cup WHOLE MILK
 1 MEDIUM TOMATO
 2 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
 1 PACKAGE OF IMPORTED SPAGHETTI, BUCATINI OR CHITARRA
 FRESH GROUND PARMESAN CHEESE
 PARSLEY FOR GARNISH

Directions

1

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 325º

PEEL AND DICE ONION, CARROTS AND CELERY.

MELT 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER IN 2 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL IN A HEAVY-BOTTOMED POT. ADD THE DICED VEGETABLES, COVER AND SWEAT FOR 5-10 MINUTES ON MEDIUM LOW FLAME.

ADD THE GROUND LAMB AND USING LARGE WOODEN FORK, PRESS AND STIR THE MEAT WITH THE VEGETABLES UNTIL THE LAMB LOSES ALL IT'S RED COLOR.

ADD A CUP OF WHITE WINE AND SIMMER UNTIL IT IS ABSORBED.

ADD A CUP OF MILK AND COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY, UNTIL IT TOO IS ABSORBED.

MEANWHILE, SCORE THE TOMATO WITH A SERRATED KNIFE ON THE SMOOTH END. PLACE A BOX GRATER OVER A BOWL AND HOLDING THE TOMATO'S SCORED END AGAINST THE WIDEST HOLES GRATE THE TOMATO PULP INTO THE BOWL. STIR INTO THE POT.

REMOVE THE LEAVES FROM THE THYME STEMS. CHOP AND ADD TO THE POT.

COVER THE POT AND PLACE IN THE OVEN. BAKE FOR ABOUT AN HOUR, CHECKING PERIODICALLY TO MAKE SURE NOT ALL THE LIQUID HAS EVAPORATED. IF NECESSARY, ADD SMALL AMOUNTS OF WHITE WINE.

BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY. ADD THE PASTA AND BOIL TILL IT IS AL DENTE. TOWARDS THE END OF THE COOKING SCOOP A CUP OF THE PASTA WATER FROM THE POT.

DRAIN THE PASTA. IN THE SAME POT, ADD HALF OF THE LAMB BOLOGNESE AND 1/2 CUP OF PASTA WATER. ADD THE DRAINED PASTA AND COOK BRIEFLY OVER TO BLEND THE INGREDIENTS ADDING MORE SAUCE IF NECESSARY. THE SAUCE SHOULD COAT BUT NOT DROWN THE PASTA.

PLACE IN A WARM BOWL. SPRINKLE WITH A 1/2 CUP OF PARMESAN CHEESE. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED PARSLEY AND SERVE WITH MORE CHEESE ON THE SIDE.

SERVES 4

LAMB BOLOGNESE
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