Dining Tip: Pappardelle with Lamb Ragù, Mint and Pecorino

Chef Andrew Carmellini's delicious pasta recipe that matches well with Sangiovese
Oct 12, 2009

Recipe appears in the October 31, 2009 issue of Wine Spectator, courtesy of chef Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde restaurant, New York, NY

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb (preferably shoulder)
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 cup imported canned cherry tomatoes
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh pappardelle (wide, flat pasta)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese

1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large stewpot over high heat. Break the lamb into small bits, add it to the pot, and brown. (If you don't have a pot large enough to fit all the meat at once, brown it in a large saucepan first, then transfer to a stewpot.) If the lamb gives off a lot of liquid, drain it off and continue to brown.

2. Add the carrots, onions and celery, and stir together. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stirring, and cook for another minute. Add the red wine, stirring, and cook until it evaporates completely. Scrape off any bits that are sticking to the pot to prevent them from burning.

3. Add the canned tomatoes, broth and all the seasonings. Reduce the heat to medium-low to cook at a simmer. Continue scraping the sides and bottom of the pot at regular intervals to avoid burning. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until most of the liquid evaporates. The meat should turn dark brown. The liquid should turn dark orange in color first, then thicken into a dark brown, textured sauce.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pappardelle, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. (If using dried pasta, follow the instructions on the packaging.) Drain, and transfer the pasta to the ragù pot. Add the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and stir together over medium heat. Just before serving, add the mint and pecorino. Serves 4 to 6.

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