Friday, 17 June 2011

Fettucine with lamb & artichoke ragu

If you’ve read the post on Rome you will have seen that I ate an excellent Tuscan pasta dish of lamb and artichokes that I enjoyed so much I really wanted to try and recreate it at some point.

With that in mind I bought a (rather expensive) jar of lovely little chargrilled baby artichokes in extra virgin oil in Volpetti while in Rome. The original dish I ate almost certainly used fresh artichokes - it was artichoke season after all.  But the artichoke season is pretty short and  in any case I really liked the look of the jarred ones I bought.

I also bought a bottle of good white truffle oil and while there didn’t seem to be any truffle in the dish that I ate in Rome it seems to me to be a good addition.

So this is the recipe that I’ve come up with and I think it’s a pretty good facsimile.

Fettucine con ragu bianco di agnello e carciofi
Serves 2

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium banana shallot, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic (I used 3 cloves wet garlic)
200g lamb mince
3 baby chargrilled artichokes in olive oil (only use 1 or 2 if larger)
3-4 sage leaves, finely chopped
sprig of rosemary, needles finely chopped
juice of ½ lemon
small glass of white wine
250ml lamb stock
sea salt and white pepper
200g dried fettucine
truffle oil (optional)
freshly grated aged parmesan reggiano to serve
finely chopped parsley to serve

Heat the oil in a wide heavy-based frying or sauté pan then fry the shallots over a lowish heat until softened (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile slice the artichokes thinly and then cut the slices lengthwise - set aside.

Add the garlic to the shallots and continue to stir for a couple of minutes.

Push the shallots and garlic to the side of the pan, turn the heat up and brown the lamb, breaking it up as you fry it.

Add the herbs and the sliced artichokes and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the wine and let this bubble away and reduce while you put the salted water on for the pasta.

After about 5 minutes the wine should have mostly evaporated so add the broth and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste (remembering that the stock, if from a cube will be fairly salty) and turn the heat down to low. 

Cover the pan by three-quarters and let simmer for about 15 minutes until the meat mixture is moist but not liquid. Cook the pasta according to the instructions.

Drain the fettucine, making sure to reserve a little of the pasta water then stir both the pasta and reserved water (a few tbsps worth) into the sauce. The sauce should cling silkily to the pasta strands.

Serve, trickling over a little truffle oil if using, plus scatter over some grated parmesan and a little chopped parsley.

Welcome to my new favourite pasta dish...

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