Spring Pasta Bolognese With Lamb and Peas
This recipe is inspired by springtime and Bolognese bianco, or white Bolognese, a hearty Italian meat sauce made without tomato. It calls for ground lamb, but you can also use beef, pork or veal. The addition of cream to the simmering broth helps tenderize the lamb, and gives the sauce body. Incorporating starchy pasta water, then stirring it vigorously, creates a glossy, thick coating. Spinach, peas and lemon provide fresh, bright notes that balance the rich Bolognese. If fresh peas are available, cook them in the sauce for a few minutes before stirring in the spinach.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1cup finely chopped carrot
- 6garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1pound ground lamb (or ground beef, pork or veal)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½cup heavy cream
- 1large fresh rosemary sprig
- 1pound spaghetti
- 1cup thawed frozen peas (about 5 ounces)
- 5ounces fresh baby spinach
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces), plus more for garnish
- ¼cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Step 1In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 2Add lamb, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth, heavy cream and rosemary, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, partly covered and stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened, about 30 minutes. (The sauce may look broken at first, but it will emulsify as it cooks.) Discard the rosemary sprig.
Step 3As the sauce cooks, make the pasta: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.
Step 4Over medium heat, add the peas and spinach to the sauce and stir until spinach is wilted. Add the cooked pasta, butter and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the sauce. Toss vigorously until sauce is thickened and coats the pasta, about 2 minutes, adding more pasta water if a looser sauce is desired. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 5Divide pasta among bowls. Garnish with more cheese, parsley and black pepper.