Spring Pasta Bolognese With Lamb and Peas

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.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In 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.
  2. Step 2

    Add 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.
  3. Step 3

    As 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.
  4. Step 4

    Over 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.
  5. Step 5

    Divide pasta among bowls. Garnish with more cheese, parsley and black pepper.