Lamb Ragu with Papardelle

In celebration of a lovely warm day in Sydney, I decided to make a very wintery dish for dinner. My logic knows no boundaries. I had been planning on making a tagine with the lamb i’d bought, but changed my mind at the last minute. I’m so glad I did – this was a rich, filling stew, just perfect with the thick strips of papardelle. I couldn’t have wished for more.

INGREDIENTS:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plain flour
salt & pepper
800g diced lamb
1 celery stick (diced)
1 onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
1 red capsicum (seeded and chopped)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese (grated)

Papardelle pasta
1 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil
fresh parmesan

DIRECTIONS:
Mix the flour with a little salt and pepper then toss in the lamb to dust.

Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole pan over a medium low heat. Shake off any excess flour from the lamb pieces then fry in small batches to brown on all sides. Set aside. Repeat with all the lamb. In the same pan add the celery, onion and carrot and fry gently for 6 minutes until softened. Add the capsicum, garlic, fennel, cumin, rosemary and thyme and bay leaf and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer for 30 seconds then add the the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and then stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is very tender. Remove from the heat then add the parmesan and stir in until melted before serving.

Cook the papardelle to the packet instructions. When ready, drain then return to the cooking pan along with the butter and about 4 serving spoons of the lamb sauce. Stir well then plate up.

SERVING:
Serve each serving with a spoonful of sauce over the top and a sprinkling of fresh parmesan.

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