As we all know, lamb and mint go together like pie and mash. A match made in heaven, you might say. It’s a refreshing change to use this glorious combination in a week day go-to recipe. I’m a great lover of lamb mince and jump at any chance to work it into our menu. 

Pasta is a firm family favourite (well, my daughter recently decided she’s gone off it, but only because her little brother loves it so much I suspect) and this particular ragu recipe is adapted from one that can be found in Nigella Lawson’s ‘Nigellissima’. Without further ado, here’s how you make it. You will need (serves three/four):

– 500g of lamb mince

– Two tablespoons of EV olive oil

– One shallot (we used a smallish onion – peeled/finely chopped)

– Three cloves of garlic (peeled/finely chopped)

– Two teaspoons of dried mint

– Two teaspoons of dried oregano 

– One dried chilli (deseeded/finely chopped)

– One tin of chopped tomatoes

– Two teaspoons of redcurrant jelly 

– Two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce 

– Salt and black pepper

– 350g of linguine (or your choice of pasta – pappardelle works well)

– Fresh mint to serve (finely chopped)

Method:

– Heat the oil in a large stove top pot with a lid. Fry the onion and garlic for two minutes then add in the herbs and chilli. 

– Stir well and immediately introduce the minced lamb, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Fry until browned (a few minutes).

– Add in the tomatoes and redcurrant jelly. Mix well then add the Worcestershire sauce and a good couple of pinches of  seasoning. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat to low, place the lid on and leave to simmer for a couple of hours if possible – or you could transfer to a slow cooker and cook on high for two hours and then down to low for any remaining time, until ready to serve.

– Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain and add to the meat sauce. Combine thoroughly and stir the mint through. Drizzle with EV olive oil and serve immediately. 

Nigella presents this as a quick cook thirty minute recipe. We have yet to sample it this way, but it certainly also benefits from a long slow cook. The meat is full of flavour with a touch of sweetness from the jelly and a kick from both the Worcestershire and the chilli. All freshened up by the mint running through it. Tasty stuff indeed. We will revisit.

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