Recipe: Lamb Ragu With Chianti Classico, Mint and Pecorino
Adapted from Wine Spectator Magazine; Issue: October 31, 2009
For Tuscany, 2006 is an outstanding vintage, producing racy, rich wines. We asked New York chef Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde at the Greenwich Hotel for a recipe that would pair well with the region's Sangiovese-based reds, especially with the Chianti Classicos that are showing so well right now. He gave us a dish that, like much of his cooking, has traditional depth and modern sophistication, Pappardelle With Lamb Ragù, Mint and Pecorino. Come to think of it, that could describe a number of Chiantis, too.
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground lamb (preferably shoulder)
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1/4 cup finely diced celery
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
2-3 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 cup imported canned cherry tomatoes, or canned chopped tomatoes if not available
3 cups chicken broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1lb fresh pappardelle (or 8 oz dried egg papardelle)
1 tbsp butter
1/4-1/2 cup fresh mint
Coarsely grated Pecorino-Romano
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Break the lamb into small bits, add it to the pot, and brown. If the lamb gives off a lot off liquid, drain it off and continue to brown.
Add 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 brown bits that are sticking to the pot to prevent them from burning.
Add the tomatoes, broth and all the seasonings. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer. Continuing scraping the bottom of the pot and the sides at regular intervals to avoid burning. Simmer for 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 at first, then thicken into a dark brown, textured sauce.
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 package directions). Drain, and transfer the pasta to the ragu pot. Add the butter, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and stir together over medium heat. Just before serving, add mint and pecorino. Serves 4-6.