Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
4 pounds lamb shoulder meat, cut into large chunks, trimmed of excess fat. Leave any bones attached (bones bring more flavor to stew).
2 large carrots, peeled
2 large russet potatoes, peeled
2 large white onions, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 28-ounce cans peeled plum tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 pound rigatoni pasta
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Wash and dry lamb pieces. Distribute in a 2 1/2-inch deep baking pan. Large enough to accommodate the lamb chunks in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Place baking pan in middle-top rack of the oven. Roast 15-30 minutes, or until top of meat is well browned. Turn pieces over and return to oven, roasting other side.
Meanwhile, cut potatoes in half vertically, then each half into thirds. Cut carrots vertically, then each half into thirds. Cut each onion into fourths. Toss all vegetables in large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.
When lamb is well browned, remove excess fat from bottom of pan with spoon. Spread prepared vegetables between meat chunks and return pan to oven. Roast about 15 minutes. Turn pieces. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pulse to chop peeled plum tomatoes in blender. Season with a little salt and pepper, a teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the basil leaves. Stir and pour over and around meat and vegetables and return to oven. After 15 minutes, check and turn over pieces of meat and vegetables to keep all pieces immersed in the sauce. Repeat every 15 minutes, turning exposed meat pieces and vegetables. If necessary, add a little water and stir into sauce. When the sauce starts to thicken, the meat and vegetables are tender, and the oil starts to separate, stew is ready. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Separate meat and vegetables from sauce with tongs, placing pieces in a warm shallow serving dish. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Leave the sauce in baking pan. Keep warm.
Meanwhile heat 8 quarts of salted water to boiling and add rigatoni. Cook until just tender, and after setting aside 1 cup of pasta water, drain in colander and toss pasta with sauce, mixing well; if needed, add some of the pasta water to moisten.
Serve pasta with grated Sicilian pecorino cheese, if available, or grated parmesan, as a first course, a “primo”. Serve the meat and vegetables as an entree, a “secondo". Enjoy!
This recipe is featured on show 2722 – Catanian Cooking.