Sauced: Tomato-Mint Sauce


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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

When considering possible alternatives to an Easter leg of lamb, I came across this Martha Stewart recipe for lamb meatballs in a tomato-mint sauce that piqued my interest. While I ultimately left the meatballs for another day, I thought the tomato-mint sauce sounded like a nice change of pace from my usual mint-based creations to accompany the festive meat.

In essence, this is a simple marinara with the addition of mint—sautéed shallots and garlic are simmered with tomatoes and finished with mint, basil, and lemon juice. That one minor change makes a big difference, though. Mint is a powerful herb, and it takes on the acidic tomatoes with vigor, lending a hefty minty flavor that stands out above the basil and other seasonings. The sauce retains all the brightness and freshness of a tomato sauce, and it paired very well with my stuffed leg of lamb, even if that wasn't its original intended use.

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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.