The holidays can be a really busy time of year. Between the extra visiting with friends and family, there’s still work, family outings and probably a few trips to the hockey arena.
We searched for a recipe that could be prepared ahead of time, feed a large gang if necessary and still look and taste like you’d been cooking all day!
So we looked to the Italians, who love lamb.
Traditionally, lamb is the meat of choice in most of the hilly/mountain areas of Italy, which is about 2/3 of the country. Yes, in some places like Sardinia and Sicily families eat a lot of fish, but the inland areas of Italy are considered mutton-country, particularly Abruzzo, Molise and Basilicata, those regions with an ancient pastoral tradition. And at Easter – all of Italy eats lamb!
This recipe came from Tasteandsee.com. It combines ground lamb with a classic tomato and garlic sauce. The Polenta replaces the noodles for a quicker (takes only 20 minutes to prepare) and tastier lasagna.
Polenta is easy to make – 4 parts water with 1 part polenta. It can be served plain or mixed with cheese and lots of butter.
Do you have a lamb recipe that you’d like to share? Send it to us c/o the Puslinch Today Facebook page – we’d love to include it in our cook books!
Lamb Lasagna with Parmesan Polenta.
Serve with a large green salad
Pairing: Sauvignon-Blanc – dry
- 5 cups cooked Parmesan Polenta (see recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 2 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes (stewed tomatoes are great too but they will need to be diced)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, more for garnish
- 2 1/2 teaspoons allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
Make the Parmesan Polenta and while still warm, pour it evenly into the baking dish. Allow it to rest on the counter.
In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté onions for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir in garlic and cook 2 more minutes.
Add ground lamb and season with another 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, allspice, and cayenne, then sauté for 7 minutes. Add in the rest of the salt and pepper, tomatoes, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Cook 10 more minutes uncovered.
Spoon off any excess oil that may pool on the top of the lamb mixture.
Pour the lamb mixture into the baking dish on top of the Parmesan Polenta. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until it’s bubbling around the edges.
Garnish with more chopped parsley and serve warm.
How to make Parmesan Polenta:
¼ C dry Polenta = 1 C of cooked Polenta
- 1 cup Polenta
- 4-5 cups chicken broth or water
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring 3 cups of the stock to a boil. Gradually pour in the polenta, whisking continuously. The liquid will absorb very quickly.
Gradually add the last cup of broth while reducing heat to a low simmer. Cook for about three minutes. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and whisk thoroughly until you’ve reached the desired firmness.
Valensbrae Sheep Farm – Pasture-raised Ontario lamb. Farm gate sales of lamb sold as individual cuts or by the whole or half lamb. Lamb will be available Easter 2019. In addition to Dorset & Shetland sheep, Valensbrae Farm has pot-bellied pigs, Red Sexlinks layers, honey bees and two llamas Ben & Jerry.
A family-run operation led by Ted Stark.
1527 Regional Road 97 | Puslinch | 905-659-7253 | [email protected]