We spent the past weekend in New Orleans, taking in the sounds of the streets (they are my favorite), the beautiful architecture, and - of course - the incredible food. Every meal in New Orleans feels like a stand-out meal, but our best one this trip was dinner at La Petit Grocery. Every dish we had there was delicious (blue crab beignets, what?!), including a handmade pappardelle with braised lamb that was to. die. for.
Here's my quick, weeknight, I-already-miss-New-Orleans version of that dish.
Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu (adapted from Nigellissima)
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (plus more for serving)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. ground lamb
one 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons currant jelly
1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. egg pappardelle
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the mint, oregano, and red pepper and toast for 30 seconds or so. Add the lamb and cook until it has lost its pinkness, breaking up with a wooden spatula as it cooks.
Add the tomatoes, jelly, worcestershire, and a bit of salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (or until the sauce has thickened well), stirring occasionally.
While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt well, then cook the pappardelle according to the package directions. Drain, then add to the pan with the lamb ragu. Stir to incorporate the ragu and pasta. Serve in bowls with lots of fresh mint on top.