Lamb Bolgonese

Bolgonese: known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. (Wikipedia)

This lamb bolgonese recipe is easy to make if you have time for a bit of prep work.  It requires a few simple ingredients to create a mouth watering dish in the end.  The key to this dish is to not over complicate things by adding too many ingredients.

Ingredients

1/4 cup pancetta – finely chopped
a couple tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 large carrot – finely diced
1-2 ribs of celery – finely diced
1 yellow onion – finely diced or you can use 2 shallots and 1/2 a yellow onion if you want to mix it up a bit
2-3 cloves of garlic – finely diced
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary – finely chopped
a bit of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
a pound of ground lamb
1 cup red wine
Parmesan
Parsley

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and fry the pancetta until it turns brown.  Add in the carrot, celery and onion and season with salt and pepper.  Allow enough time for the vegetables to sweat, approximately 5-10 mins.  Stir in the garlic and fry for another 1-2 mins.  Add in the lamb and fry until brown.  Stir in the tomato paste and add the cup of red wine.  Stir the mixture and reduce the sauce over low to medium heat.  You want to aim for a dry sauce (ie. little liquid left).

While the sauce is reducing, cook your favorite pasta according to the directions on the package (spaghetti or tagliatelle pasta works well with this sauce).  Once the sauce is reduced and the pasta is cooked, toss to combine.  You can garnish it with Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

al dente [ælˈdɛnteɪ]: pasta and (less commonly) rice or beans that have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard. (Wikipedia)

Chicken soup is a comfort food that is easy to make. Using home made chicken stock only intensifies the flavor of the soup and is something people turn to when sick.

Chicken Noodle Soup

4 cups chicken stock
Cooked chicken shredded (I used the meat from making the broth and added a few chicken thighs)
Uncooked pasta
vegetable oil
2 medium sized carrots, finely diced (or reuse the carrots from making the stock)
2 celery ribs, finely diced
1 white onion diced
1 Meyer lemon, juiced
parsley roughly chopped

Chicken soup

Chicken soup made out of chicken stock

In a pot, heat up a splash of vegetable oil and add the vegetables.  Saute until soft and then add the meat, stock and pasta.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the pasta is al dente. Before serving, add the juice of one Meyer lemon (I really love the addition of lemon in this soup). Serve and garnish with parsley.

Chicken Stock

chicken stock [stäk] : a stock made with chicken. (Wikipedia)

I’ve been deboning a few chickens lately and saved the carcasses and wing tips just for the purpose of making chicken stock. There is nothing better than making your own stock. You know all the ingredients that goes into it and it’s healthier than store bought stock. It provides you with a tasty foundation for making soups and other dishes. Chicken stock can include a variety of ingredients but I like the ones I used listed below.

Chicken Stock

Chicken bones (carcass, wing tips)
2 white onions, quartered
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (I used sweet carrots purchased at our Farmer’s Market)
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2-3 sprigs of fresh tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
3 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves

2 quarts water

Add all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 4-5 hours, skimming off any scum that arises to the top.  Allow the mixture to cool and refrigerate overnight if you want a more concentrated stock. Scrape off any fat that has congealed on the top. Heat the stock for another hour before straining through a sieve. The stock can now be used to make chicken soup or risotto like I’ve done in the past. If making chicken soup, scrape off any meat from the bones and save the carrots.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup made out of chicken stock