Light lamb orecchiette
I have always, since the forst day I saw, loved orechiette pasta. That sweetand beautiful shape. So simple, yet so so perfect and round and, I say alwyas - cozy. I love all of the pastas from “Morelli” producer, they are hand made, they are so rough and so fragile at the same time. If I would have studio with lots oaf glass jars, these would be the forst ones to go in the jars to display and never touch.
Typically, orecchiette is 17 mm round, 2,5 mm pasta, that in translation means – little ears. The interesting thing is, that it is quite thick, so you have to keep in mind, that this always will be al dente pasta, because by the time the outer part will be done, the middle will be firm, but that, in my mind, is the beauty of this pasta. The shape is made disc-like where outter part is more thicker, than the pressed inside inner part. Inner part holds the sauce, while outter gives the, oh so perfect, crunch or bite. Since orecchiette is best served with some oily sauces with chunky bits, then this, white wine based sauce was perfect selection. I and we all agreed on that.
Heat the oil in a pan until hot. Pat dry the meat and add to the pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan in one layer. If you have a big pan, it might be ok to do thay in one batch, but if you have a cask iron pan like I do, that is smaller in diameter, you have to fry the pieces in two turns. Fry on a high heat untill the pieces ar brown. Take them out and place into a bowl.
When all the meet is done, lower the heat to the smallest and add celery, rosemary and salt and sautee for 10-15 minutes. Add meat, fennel seeds, garlic, bay, and wine. Turn the heat up and boild for 2 minutes on the highest or you can even flambee. Then lower the heat to low, add zest, sugar, basil stalks, salt, pepper and cover with lid. Sautee on a small heat for 4 hours*. Take off the heat, take out the basil stalks and bay leaves and divide the meat with fork. Add the chopped basil leaves and mix. Taste if there is enough salt and pepper. Cover with lid and leave on a small heat until you boil pasta.
Boil the water, add salt and add pasta. Boil until it is al dente, drain and add to the sauce in the pan. Add 15 g of cheese, mix in and plate on as many plates as you plan, but normally this is for 4 persons. Sprinkle more cheese and basil leaves and serve.
* I sauteed it ofr 4 hours and then just left to sit on the stove top for 3 mores until I got my kids form school, then came back, and reheated. The result was even more better.
Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s