Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle

Okay, so my beautiful 29-year old daughter, Amie, and I are known to occasionally meet for a glass of wine and happy conversation on a Friday afternoon. We’re always in good moods then, anticipating the weekend ahead.

Amie owns a hair salon nestled into a converted 1920’s bungalow in Peoria Heights–what I like to call the “Broad Ripple (Indianapolis)” of Peoria. It’s a quaint little neighborhood village with eclectic shops, an amazing new-and-used book store and arguably some of the best fine dining in Central Illinois. In the summertime, people enjoy dinner and drinks al fresco while their dogs sleep under tiny cafe tables dotting the narrow sidewalks.

A couple of weeks ago, Amie walked down from her shop and met me at a one of the corner cafes where they serve really great french-inspired food in a rustic half-cafe-half-wine-and-cheese shop. That’s when I bought the package of Pappardelle nests calling my name.

I had never made pappardelle before, nor did I even know how to pronounce it. But after scouring the internet for a sauce recipe, I found one that looked worthy and added my own touches. I made it on a Saturday night when Amie was over for dinner, served with a nice Chianti. It was terrific!

Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle

  • 3lb bone-in lamb shoulder
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful each fresh rosemary and thyme, stems discarded and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • Two 14-ounce cans tomatoes
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 ounces fresh or dried pappardelle
  • 2 14-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to dutch oven and sear meat on all sides. Remove the meat and keep warm; and add a bit more oil to the dutch oven. Cook herbs, garlic, carrots, onion and celery until soft. Add wine, tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook until mixture reduces by at least half. Add meat back to dutch oven; add enough water to nearly cover meat and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and cover; slow cook for 3-4 hours or until meat falls off the bone, stirring occasionally.

Remove meat from dutch oven, discard bone and fat. Shred meat with forks, and add shredded meat back to pot. Add tomato sauce and stir until smooth. Add tomato paste and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes until sauce is thick and rich. Season to taste.

Serve over cooked Pappardelle with shaved parmesan cheese.

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Hello World!

This blog is my attempt at self-expression, documenting ordinary observations, reviewing recipes and a general experiment in understanding the mysterious scary world that is social media.

I am a happily married young grandmother of five beautiful girls. Working as a communications manager for the world’s premiere heavy construction equipment manufacturer takes up most of my days–but that’s okay because it’s fun, I work with amazing people and even get to travel to cool places once in awhile.

My husband, John, and I, along with our best friends, the Rickards, are foodies and live to find the ultimate demiglace recipe and the next really great bottle of wine under $12! John and I love to travel when we can, and if not at home or with my kids, there’s no place I would rather be than in Paris, where we dream of buying an apartment one day.

A few things about me: I believe in love, the power of forgiveness and the bittersweet rhythm that fuels the circle of life. I believe in the magic of warm summer days, the promise of sunrise, and that most people are honest souls trying to do the best they can. I believe knowledge is freedom and although I don’t always practice it, I believe the only way to find true happiness is by serving others. I believe God expects me to share. I believe you should prune rose bushes in late winter, wash windows in the fall and grow rosemary in the basement window year-round because fresh herbs taste best. I believe in laughing with good friends, picking up pennies, cooking dinner at home and flossing my teeth every single day. I believe that my mother is in Heaven. I will see her again.