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posted: 6/11/2014 6:00 AM

Moroccan Style Lamb Bolognese with Chickpeas over Whole Wheat Pasta

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  • Sue Cortesi's rich lamb and sausage bolognese won her a trip to California wine country as the winner of Kenwood Vineyard's Perfect Pasta Pairings recipe contest.

    Sue Cortesi's rich lamb and sausage bolognese won her a trip to California wine country as the winner of Kenwood Vineyard's Perfect Pasta Pairings recipe contest.
    Courtesy of Kenwood Vineyards


2 teaspoons olive oil

½ pound Italian sausage, casings removed

½ pound ground lamb

1 medium carrot, peeled

1 medium rib of celery

½ medium yellow onion

1 small jalapeño, seeds removed

1 clove garlic, peeled

¼ cup roughly chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

3 medjool dates, pitted and diced small

3 tablespoons tomato paste

¾ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup Kenwood Sonoma Cabernet

1½ cups low sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons half-and-half

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup canned chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 pound dried whole wheat linguine, cooked

4 tablespoons pine nuts

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, add the Italian sausage and break up into small chunks and brown for about 5 minutes, add the ground lamb and continue browning the meat together, breaking it up into small pieces. This will take in total about 15 minutes, allow all the juices to come out of the meat and evaporate so that the meat is mostly dry with about 2 teaspoons of fat/juice remains.

While the meat browns, cut the carrot, celery, onion and jalapeño into medium pieces; add to the bowl of a food processor with the peeled garlic, Italian parsley and thyme leaves. Pulse several times until everything is chopped finely.

When the meat is browned, add the carrot-celery mixture and continue cooking over medium-high heat until the vegetables seem to disappear into the meat, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped dates and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper; continue stirring for another 5 minutes until the tomato paste has darkened slightly. Stir in the wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5-7 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the beef broth and half and half; add to the meat mixture and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook, uncovered, about 1½ hours until the sauce is thick and dark brown. Stir in the chick peas and cook another 15 minutes.

In a small saute pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts for 3 to 4 minutes.

Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl and mix in about half of the bolognese. Spoon the rest of the sauce over the pasta and garnish with toasted pine nuts and Italian parsley.

Serves six to eight.

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