Thanksgiving may be the standard-bearer of large-format dinners, but since its opening Carmine’s has been serving the original version: the kind ladled out by grandmothers worldwide as they tut about when the last time was that you had a decent meal.
“Carmine’s Celebrates,” the second cookbook from the New York City-born Italian empire, gathers 100 homestyle Italian dishes that aren’t holiday-themed — they’re meant to accompany everyday feats, like managing to gather friends and family in one place for dinner. Try your hand at one this weekend.
Lamb Bolognese with Fresh Ricotta over Pappardelle Pasta
½ cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped carrots
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped white onions
1 ½ tablespoons sliced garlic
1 ½ pounds fresh ground lamb (cut from the leg)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 bay leaves
½ cup red wine
2 ½ cups canned whole, peeled plum tomatoes, with their juices
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
12 ounces pappardelle, cooked al dente
1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and sauté until the vegetables brown.
In a separate large sauté pan over high heat, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Add the ground lamb, breaking up the meat into medium-size pieces as you brown it. (Leave the pieces of lamb in one spot in the pan, and when browned, flip each piece over and brown the opposite side.) Add the salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, the oregano, parsley, basil, and bay leaves and mix well to combine.
Combine the lamb with the sautéed vegetables. Add the red wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. and simmer for 30 minutes, breaking them up as they cook.
Add 1/3 cup of the Romano cheese. Transfer the cooked pasta in a medium bowl or on a deep serving platter, and cover with the sauce. Garnish with dollops of the ricotta, the remaining 1 tablespoon Romano cheese, and remaining ½ teaspoon rosemary.