During the cold, winter months, I often find myself craving something comforting. It is hard to go
wrong with a bowl of pasta, a bottle of red wine, a good read, and a couch with a warm blanket
to curl up in. My go-to is usually the classic tagliatelle al ragu Bolognese, basically pasta with
meat sauce. Never one to go with the norm, I prefer to make mine with ground lamb. Try this
with Bucatini pasta, which are spaghetti-length straws of pasta, and pair it with a bottle of a
younger red Bordeaux, a Chianti Classico, or a northern Rhone red.
If you are one to go to the Williamsport Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, I recommend
that you stop by the Misty Mountain Farm stand. While Dave and Holly offer a great selection of
steaks and roasts from their cattle, they also raise fantastic lamb.
¼ cup cooking oil; light olive, canola, or lamb fat
1 lb ground lamb
½ cup onion, diced small
¼ cup celery, diced small
¼ cup carrot, diced small
A pinch of salt
A pinch of red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
2 cups red wine, whatever you are drinking
4 cups marinara, I prefer Rao’s
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
Pinch allspice (optional)
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons, butter
½ cup grated parmesan, go with the real stuff
Salt and Black pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the
lamb, and brown over medium heat. Scrape the bottom of the pan as needed to keep
any bits from sticking and burning. Once the moisture has evaporated and the meat
begins to brown, 10-14 minutes, add the diced carrot, onion, and celery, a pinch of salt
and red pepper flakes.
2. Continue to cook 3-5 minutes until the meat is well browned. Drain off any accumulated
fat, and return the pan to the heat.
3. Crank the heat up to high. Deglaze the pan with the wine. When it comes up to a boil,
let it reduce down until ⅓ cup remains.
4. Add the red sauce, bay leaves, cinnamon and allspice, if using, and bring the sauce to a
simmer. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer the sauce until it thickens, 15-20
5. Now is when you should get your water boiling for pasta, and cook it, according the
6. When the sauce has thickened, remove the bay leaves. Stir in the butter, cream, and
cheese. Season with salt and pepper. The sauce is ready! Enjoy!
What are you reading? My next up is ‘The First Conspiracy,’ a historical piece about a foiled
plot to assassinate George Washington.