Zoom Cooking with Amy: Spring Pasta Bolognese

So much to be grateful for today! More spring bulbs are slowly blooming, hyacinths, tulips, and the dandelions too, welcome first food for native and honeybees alike. It remained cold and breezy all day, mostly cloudy, though sun emerged later in the afternoon. Only .07″ of precipitation after all of yesterday’s bluster, but oh well, at least it’s something in this extraordinary drought year.

A good day’s work inside was rewarded with another episode of Zoom Cooking with Amy. This time, she chose Spring Pasta Bolognese with Lamb and Peas. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to buy half a lamb from an ethicarian rancher last winter, and grateful that Dawn has had room in her freezer since mine has been full; grateful for a freezer, and solar-powered electricity to run it, and sufficient food to keep it full, and all those who provided all that food, including my little garden. So I had a pound of ground lamb for the recipe, and almost everything else. We made pasta again, which is so simple and so much fun, and SO delicious.

I’m so grateful for the gift of the Kitchenaid pasta attachment, and grateful I could afford a Kitchenaid in the first place.
Did I mention how much fun it is to make pasta?
Meanwhile, as I was making the pasta, the sauce simmered in the enameled cast iron dutch oven, for which I’m very grateful. Grateful for all the ingredients, including organic spinach in a recyclable plastic box; recyclable in that I’ll use it as a mini-greenhouse to start seeds in.
Grateful to live a life in which fine parmesan cheese is available at the local grocery, and I own a grater.
And finally, grateful to sit down with my oldest friend and enjoy a delicious meal made and shared together through the miracle of technology, and grateful for all the conditions of this life we were born into and subsequently created for ourselves.

Spring Pasta  Bolognese With Lamb and Peas

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 pound ground lamb (or ground beef, pork or veal)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas (about 5 ounces)
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces), plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

Preparation

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Over medium heat, add peas and spinach to sauce and stir until spinach is wilted. Add pasta, butter and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. 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.
  • Divide pasta among bowls. Garnish with more cheese, parsley and black pepper.

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