Lamb Bolognese from 'Family Table'


[Photograph: Marcus Nilsson]

We've written several recipes for bolognese sauce over the years here at Serious Eats, and these recipes usually fall in two camps: the traditional slow-cooked multiple-meat bolognese camp or the easier, lighter, faster meat-sauce-maybe-known-as-bolognese camp.

This lamb bolognese from Michael Romano and Karen Stabiner's Family Table falls squarely in the middle. Instead of using the traditional shortcut of pre-ground beef (or a quartet of beef-veal-pork-chicken livers), this bolognese calls for ground lamb. This single step adds rich, slightly gamey flavor that would be impossible to achieve using any other single meat. A relatively quick marinara sauce forms the remaining bulk of the sauce, and a generous pour of red wine (reduced to a bare slick) adds brightness and sweetness.

Finished with a triple punch of cream, butter and parmesan, this hearty sauce clings perfectly to a fresh batch of fettuccine for a decadent spring meal.

Why I picked this recipe: The king of meat sauces meets the king of spring meats (lamb) for what sounded like an excellent take on the Italian classic.

What worked: I loved the bold flavor and richness of the lamb in the sauce; even better was the fact that the recipe was so easy (if not super fast) to pull off.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: This recipe calls for four cups of Maialino's marinara sauce, the recipe for which yields eight cups. If you don't want extra marinara hanging around, you can easily cut that recipe in half. That said, you could also use any basic marinara recipe you'd like, but it should be on the smooth side.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Family Table to give away this week.