Classics are a classic for a reason—they’re reliable, tried, tested and true. But every now and then, it’s good to switch up those dishes that you’ve had a thousand times before. It’s really easy to fall into a rut when making dinners and modifying dishes that you know and love is a simple way to bring you out of cooking on autopilot.
Do you typically make meat, veg and grain for dinner? Why not try pan frying your meat instead of roasting it in the oven? Instead of a simple mashed potato, try out the very similar but more luscious pomme puree! Getting bored with the olive oil, salt and pepper rub for your brussel sprouts? Try tossing them in a balsamic glaze! The possibilities are endless and they don’t need to be overwhelming. You do not need to buy a million new ingredients or try extensive and complicated new recipes. Little changes can completely alter the flavour of your meal.
Today I want to put you onto a fresh and spring friendly lamb bolognese. Bolognese is the most classic of the classic dishes. We’ve all had a version of it and they typically all look the same: red sauce, ground meat (usually beef and/or pork),and paired with spaghetti. Undoubtedly delicious but why not switch things up for a nice spring/summer twist! This version switches up the protein for a ground lamb, the red sauce is substituted for a cream sauce and we add a nice pop of green with fresh (or frozen) peas. You can use whatever pasta shape you want but I really like this with rigatoni. It’s a wonderful and flavourful dish that looks like you spent way more time on it then you did.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 500 g ground lamb
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Zest of half lemon
- Pinch of Italian seasoning
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 package of pasta
- 1 cup peas (if using frozen, make sure to thaw first)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- In a pot, heat your oil over medium heat. Then, add your onion and celery and cook until softened and translucent. Add in your garlic and stir until fragrant (about one minute).
- Add in your ground lamb and break it up with your spoon. Season with red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Cook until no pink remains. Sprinkle over the flour and mix to combine.
- Pour in the cream, chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low to simmer until your sauce comes together and thickens. If you notice it getting too thick you can add some more stock or wine. Stir occasionally and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
- While your sauce simmers, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta to just under al dente. I usually take off a minute or so from the package directions. Before draining your pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- When there is about 30 seconds left for your pasta, add the peas to the sauce.
- Add pasta and half your pasta water to your sauce and toss for 1-2 minutes until pasta is well coated. If your sauce is a little too thick, you can add some more pasta water to loosen it up.
- Remove from heat and add the parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Serve with more cheese, pepper and red pepper flakes, if you like an extra kick. If you have fresh parsley, you can add that as well. Enjoy!