A hearty sauce for a winter pasta dish.
• 2 lamb shanks
• 400g Italian pork sausages, casing removed
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
• 2-3 tbsp parsley stalks, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 2 x 400g tins whole peeled tomatoes
• 1 cup dry red wine (like Montepulciano)
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Grated pecorino
1. In a large deep heavy based pan or casserole dish, heat half the oil then fry the meats to brown on all sides. Start with the lamb shanks then put aside to rest before frying the uncased sausages. The sausages will probably hold their shape – don’t be tempted to mash them up into mince, this will come later. Remove the sausages and place them to rest with the browned shanks.
2. Add the rest of the oil to the pan then tumble in the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, chopped parsley stems, rosemary leaves and dried oregano. Sautee for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
3. Return the meats to the pan along with any juices released while resting. Add the wine and cook for a minute or so to let the alcohol burn off.
4. Add the tinned tomatoes one at a time, squeezing each one with your hand to mash them and release their juices. Half fill each tin with water and give a good swirl before adding the combined water and remaining tomato puree to the pan. Season with salt flakes and freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer before placing the lid on, reducing the heat to low, and allow to cook for 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Check the sauce every hour and give a stir to prevent sticking.
5. Remove the meats from the sauce. The lamb should already be eager to fall of the bone but help it along with a fork and shred the meat into small pieces. Use the fork to mash the sausage meat into mince then return all the meat to the sauce. Check for seasoning.
6. If the sauce it still a little watery, remove the lid and boil on high heat for 10 – 15 minutes or until it has reduced and slightly thickened.
7. Toss through your favourite cooked pasta and serve topped with shaved pecorino.