Pasta with lamb

I like recipes. I like to read and discover new ones, follow them as you would carry out a science experiment, and more importantly be inspired by them. Occasionally I would even create some, when I can’t find anything in my dozens of books on board and saved webpages in my computers. How does the saying go? Necessity is the mother of invention.
This came true a few weeks ago ( yes, it has taken me that long to sift thru my notes and find the recipe I had scribbled at the back of a book…). The kids wanted spaghetti bolognaise, Terry wanted a curry and I had a nice bottle of red Bordeaux wine to pair with something worthy. The main ingredient was diced lamb. I cooked it with tomatoes and Italian style herbs, added mint and cayenne pepper for a spicy note, served with spaghetti and a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese…it made such a good substitute everyone asked for seconds. And it was a perfect match for my bottle of 2005 bottle of Listrac Medoc!

Pasta with Lamb

spaghetti with lamb sauce

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

250g spaghetti
1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
½ cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
½ bunch of mint, leaves washed, dried and chopped
500g diced lamb (from the shoulder or the leg)
1 can (400g) of crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs ( thyme, basil, oregano…)
1 bay leaf
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup of chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Heat a small pan over medium heat and roast the pine nuts without adding any fat, until golden ( this will only take a few minutes, keep shaking the pan to prevent the nuts from burning and watch them!)
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and brown the onion then the lamb for a few minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, garlic, dried herbs, bay leaf, pine nuts, cayenne pepper and stock. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until meat is tender. The sauce should be a little thin, if you like it thicker, continue simmering uncovered until reduced to the desired consistency. At the end of cooking time, add the mint.
3. In the meantime, cook the spaghetti as per packet instruction and keep aside.
4. To serve: scoop the meat sauce over the spaghetti, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Accompany with steamed broccoli (or any other green vegetable of your choice) and don’t forget a nice red wine! Enjoy!

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