I own tons of cookbooks and I adore all of them. In every cookbook I have marked the recipes I want to make. If I would try out a new recipe a day, it would still take me more than a year to go through all of these marked recipes. There are even cookbooks which are high on my to make-list, but I’ve never made a single recipe from them. That’s all because I have one favorite author and from her books I like to cook the best. This lady is called Yvette van Boven. She is a Dutch cookbook writer, food stylist, she did the whole styling of her own cookbooks, she’s a restaurant owner and moreover, she’s just very inspiring. I’ve never made so many recipes from one author as I’ve made from her books. My favorite book is Home Made, but I also love her book Home Made Winter. Her new book, Home Made Summer, will be published (in the Netherlands) next month. Luckily for you, all these books will be available in English. Home Made has already been translated, the other two will follow.
It’s from Home Made that I made this dish. It’s really easy to make, just throw all the ingredients in one pot and let it simmer till the meat is tender. It’s full of flavor and although it’s really easy to make, it looks like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen the whole evening. I know that it might look like a long list of ingredients, but half of them are herbs that you either have fresh or dried in your cupboard.
Adapted recipe from Home Made by Yvette van Boven.
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
750 g – 1 kg lamb, cut into pieces
1 carrot, cleaned and cut into cubes
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
1 tbsp fennel seeds
pinch of cumin
2 sprigs rosemary, minced*
a couple of sprigs of thyme, minced*
salt and pepper
70 g tomato puree
1/2 bottle red wine (about 325 ml)
1 can (400 g) peeled tomatoes
about 500 ml chicken stock
400 g pasta**
2 tbsp capers
knob of butter***
freshly grated Parmesan
*In this recipe I always use dried herbs, just because I already have them and I don’t have to throw away the rest of the unused fresh herbs.
**Miss. van Boven uses papardelle, I’ve used tagliatelle.
***I always forget to add the butter. Maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, but it also tastes divine without it.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan and sear the meat in batches. Take the meat out of the pan and reserve it on a plate.
Bake the carrot, onion and celery in the same pan and oil for a couple of minutes. Add the meat (and all the juices on the plate), the herbs and the tomato puree. Saute everything on high heat till the tomato puree starts to smell sweet. Add the wine and stir everything a little bit. Add the peeled tomatoes and as much chicken stock as you need to just cover the meat.
Let it simmer on the stove on low heat for 90 minutes. Tip: in the meantime you can drink the rest of the bottle of wine.
Check every now and then if there’s still enough liquid in the pan, otherwise add some more hot stock.
At the end, taste for salt and pepper. Keep in mind that the capers and cheese will be salty as well.
Bring a second pan with salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and prepare according to the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water. Add the pasta to the ragout, add the capers, the butter and some more olive oil. Stir it and leave it to rest for a couple of minutes. Serve with the freshly grated Parmesan.