We are fortunate to have, within walking distance, a butcher’s that is open until 1 o’clock on Sundays and you’d be surprised at how many people gather there to shop on what should be a day of rest. Not many a Sunday ago, I managed to get there in the nick of time five minutes before closing, as they were finishing putting away the various cuts of meat and there really wasn’t much there for me to choose. I literally did an eeny-meeny-miney-mo with what was there and hey presto! I ‘chose’ some cubes of lamb on skewers that go by the name of ‘arrosticini’.
When I got home, the family craved a pasta dish of some sort and so I had to remove all the cubes of meat off the skewers and make a lamb ragù for Sunday lunch. It turned out to be very rich and filling and tasty and more-ish … and I reverently thanked the Eeeny-Meeny-Miney-Mo Saint of Sunday Lunches for having intervened so quickly and graciously. I have already written a post about the helpfulness of arrosticini (The Trouble with buffets and why arrosticini are a God-send -Nov. 2011), so I definitely saw a ‘connection’ that Sunday.
Please note that I used a pressure cooker to cook the lamb sauce. Pressure cookers may sound old fashioned and fuddy duddy but I love them for this sort of thing. It took 30 minutes to cook the ragù in a pressure cooker … it would have taken over 1 hour in an ordinary saucepan.
Ingredients: 2 onions, 2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, fresh herbs, about 10 fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper, tomato paste, 1 glass of white wine, fresh peas, fresh pasta, pecorino romano cheese.
Wash some tomatoes (on the vine if possible, or cherry tomatoes) … Put the tomatoes on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
While the ragù is cooking … use the casserole to cook some fresh peas.
The 30 minutes are up …. the peas are ready and the ragù is cooked and tender:
Choose some fresh herbs that you love …
PART III – Time to cook the pasta
Please note that there is no need to worry about pasta being ‘al dente’ when you are dealing with fresh as opposed to dry pasta, nor when dealing with egg pasta — be it fresh or dried. And please do not throw away the cooking water when dealing with fresh pasta. Fresh pasta is a guzzler and will slurp up any sauce very quickly. So it is a good idea to keep some of the cooking water, to add to the sauce if needed.
PART IV – Serve!