Monday, December 01, 2014

Bucatini with Meat & Lentil Sauce

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I almost always use spaghetti sauce from a jar and tinker with it. Every once in awhile, though, I will try some from scratch. This is one of those. The original recipe was Nigella Lawson's, from Nigella Express, and was meant to be eaten on its own, rather than over spaghetti. I have altered it to reflect my iffy stance on lamb and my inability to find sweet onion confit & unwillingness, that cool night in August that I made this, to spend the time needed to make caramelized onions. I served it with bucatini. It's quite different and rather tasty. I want to try it again with the onion confit, as I am certain it's better that way---and I might try lamb, as well. If you want to try both and see which you like best (or simply use her recipe), you can find it here. This is my version:

Meat & Lentil Sauce
2 tbsp. garlic oil
1 c. cubed pancetta
1 lb. ground beef 
14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. Marsala
1/3 c. French green lentils (I wouldn't make this recipe with a different variety of lentils)
Shredded cheddar

Heat oil and fry the pancetta until it's crisp. Add the meat and brown. Add everything but cheese. Bring to a bubble, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Serve with cheese on top. Serves 4. 

I made a Caesar-style salad to go with this dinner. You could make this salad an entire meal by adding a protein to it, shrimp, chicken, cannellini beans. If you are vegetarian, simply omit the anchovy paste. 

Caesar Salad
3 tbsp. buttermilk (I used low fat)
2 tbsp. mayonnaise (I used canola)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
5 tbsp. grated parmesan
1 bag hearts of romaine salad
Caesar croutons

Purée everything but the cheese, lettuce, and croutons together. Add 2 tbsp. of the cheese. Toss with romaine. Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese and croutons. Serves 4. 

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