Lamb Ragout and Stuffed Pancake Buns: Jane Baxter’s Italian Family Favorites – Recipes | meal

BOlognese sauce or ragù is found in some form in most British households and is usually made with ground beef. However, in Italy it is traditionally prepared with a mixture of pork and veal, although lamb is much more popular in the south, especially in spring. Crepesare a lighter alternative to cannelloni. All the different components can be used in other dishes – the tomato sauce with pasta, the bechamel in a gratin, the filling in a toasted sandwich, and the pancakes as a pud, for example – but combined as they are here they make a very satisfying effect vegetarian dish that the whole family can enjoy.

Spinach and ricotta crespelle (pictured above)

There are a few steps involved here, but they’re all pretty easy and can be prepared ahead of time, leaving the dish ready to assemble and bake when the time comes.

preparation 10 mins
Cook 1 hour 40 minutes
serves 4-6

For the pancakes (serves 12)
100 grams of regular flour
2 eggs
300ml milk
1 tbsp oil
1 pinch of salt
butter
to fry

For the tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
peeled and cut into thin slices
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1 x 400 g tin plum tomatoes

1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

For the béchamel
50 grams of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
50g flour
500ml whole milk
Grated nutmeg
taste good
50 g vegetarian parmesangrated

For the filling
500g spinachwashed
1 tbsp olive oil
25 grams of butter
1 tbsp marjoram leaves
1 clove of garlic
peeled and grated
250 grams of ricotta
1 egg yolk
75 g vegetarian parmesan
grated, plus extra for serving

Make the pancakes first. Mix the wet ingredients with the flour to form a thin batter, add a pinch of salt and leave to rest for at least five minutes.

Melt some butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then pour in a ladleful of the batter, tilting the pan so the bottom is evenly coated. Bake a few minutes until the bottom of the pancake is set, then flip and cook the other side for a few more minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.

Now for the sauce. In a small skillet over low heat, add the oil, add the garlic and dried chilli and cook until the garlic slices are opaque (and before they start to brown). Add the tomatoes and sugar, season generously, then turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, allow to cook slowly for at least 30 minutes, then flash until smooth and allow to cool.

Next, the béchamel. Heat butter and olive oil in a pan over low heat. Once melted, stir in the flour and fold in with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth, then gently cook, stirring, for five minutes.

While the roux is cooking, heat the milk in another saucepan—do not let it boil—then spoonfuls into the first saucepan, beating after each addition until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Season well, add nutmeg to taste, simmer for five minutes, then stir in the cheese.

Now for the pancake filling. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the spinach and cook, stirring, over high heat until wilted. Season, place in a colander set over a bowl. Once the spinach has cooled, squeeze out excess moisture and then roughly chop.

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the marjoram and garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the chopped spinach, simmer in the flavored butter for a few minutes, then invert into a bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, mix in the ricotta, egg yolk, hard vegetarian cheese, and spices.

Finally assembling and cooking. Heat oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/390°F/Gas 6. Butter a large ovenproof dish that will fit 12 rolled pancakes. Spread half of the béchamel sauce on the bottom of the dish and spread half of the tomato sauce on top. Divide the filling between the pancakes, then roll each up. Arrange the pancakes on the tomato sauce, then cover first with the remaining sauce and then with the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the extra cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes until golden on top.

Pasta with lamb and pea ragout

Jane Baxter's Lamb and Pea Ragout.

Italians enrich meat ragout not only with wine, but also with milk, which makes the sauce creamy. If you like, add a few frozen broad beans or artichokes from the jar four or five minutes before the end of cooking.

preparation 15 minutes
Cook 1 H
serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil
500 g minced lamb
salt and black pepper
1 onion
peeled and finely diced
1 small carrottrimmed and finely diced
1 stick of celeryfinely diced
1 leektrimmed and finely diced
3 cloves of garlicpeeled and crushed
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 anchovy fillet
drained
1 dash of white wine
200 g
tomato passed
250 ml chicken broth
250 ml whole milk
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
150 g frozen peas
Grated parmesan
500 g Casarecce, Fusilli or other dried pasta

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat, then brown the ground beef. Season well, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the finely diced vegetables to the oil pan, cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, then stir in the garlic, chili, fennel, and anchovies and cook for another minute.

Return the lamb to the pan, mix with the vegetables, then increase the heat, add the wine and cook until almost evaporated. Add the passata, bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Pour in the broth and simmer for another 10 minutes until the sauce is quite thick; Break up any lumps of meat as it cooks to smooth the sauce.

Add the milk, simmer until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes, then stir in the vinegar and peas, taste again (be generous) and cook for 3 minutes. The sauce is now ready.

Cook the pasta al dente in plenty of boiling salted water according to package directions, drain and reserve a small cup of the cooking water.

Lift the sauce under the pasta, add grated Parmesan to taste and season again; If the pasta seems a bit dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Serve with extra grated cheese.

Jane Baxter is the chef/co-owner of Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge, Devon

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