Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

The secret in this lovely ragu is red currant jelly. It brings out the natural sweetness of the lamb.

1 1/2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
4 green onions, sliced
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
250g ground lamb
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbs. red currant jelly
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
250g pappardelle
fresh mint to serve, optional

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook the onions for a minute or two, then stir in the mint, oregano and chili flakes. Add the lamb and brown it whilst breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomatoes, red currant jelly, Worcestershire sauce and a good bit of seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes to thicken.

Cook the pappardelle in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions. Drain and toss with the ragu.

Serves 2

Lamb Patties with Hummus and Pita

Think hamburgers, Middle Eastern style.

scant 1/4 cup bulgar wheat
18 oz. lean minced lamb
4 tsp. dried mint
4 tsp. dried oregano
1 garlic cloves, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
vegetable oil, for frying
1 1/3 cup hummus
1 1/3 cups whole-milk yogurt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
8 pita breads
1 Little Gem or Boston lettuce, shredded
bunch fresh mint, chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3-4 tomatoes, chopped

Soak the bulgar wheat by covering it with boiling water and leaving it for 15 minutes in a small bowl. Sieve out the water and mix with the lamb, mint, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and seasoning. Form into small, walnut-sized patties and set on a baking tray. Chill for 20 minutes or up to 6 hours.

Fry the patties in a little oil until cooked through and golden. You may need to do this is batches so as not to crowd the patties.

Stir together the hummus, yogurt and cumin. To assemble, toast or warm the pita bread, then slice off the top. Into the cavity, dollop in some of the hummus mixture, several patties, some lettuce, mint, onion and tomatoes.

Serves 8