Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Risotto with Lamb Ragu and Pine Nuts

Serves 6



Lamb Ragu:
3 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
1/2 lb ground lamb (see note) 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and Pepper

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts



Prepare the Lamb Ragu:
In a large saucepan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until garlic just begins to turn brown. Add lamb, parsley and rosemary. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently to break up large pieces, until it has just lost its raw color.

Stir in the tomato paste and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer; place cover on, slightly tilted, over low heat for 15 minutes.

Prepare the Risotto:
In another large saucepan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook until onion is translucent. Add rice, stirring constantly, and cook 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly, and let totally evaporate. When wine is evaporated, begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition evaporate before adding the next addition.

After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock.

After last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in 1 cup Lamb Ragu, butter, Gorgonzola, Romano, mint and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


It might be hard to find already ground lamb. What I do is buy a rack of lamb or a lamb loin and ask the butcher to grind it. They will usually do this for free, even in the supermarket.


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This page created January 2000