Rapid Ragu

Much to my husband's horror, when I am feeling fragile and in need of coziness and comfort, my favourite supper is a bowl of mince/ground meat with some grated cheese on top, eaten by greedy, grateful spoonful out of a cereal bowl. I have dispensed with much of the usual, necessary chopping: I use cubetti di pancetta (that's how they're sold at my local supermarket) and a little caramelised onion from a jar. This is everything you could hope for, sweetly salving and as undemanding to make as it is rewarding to eat.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons garlic oil

1 cup cubed pancetta

1 pound ground lamb

1/4 cup caramelized onions *available at gourmet and specialty stores as Onion Confit, or recipe follows

1/3 cup Marsala

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/3 cup green lentils

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup grated red Leicester or Cheddar, optional

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a wide, medium-sized saucepan, and fry the pancetta until beginning to crisp.
  2. Add the lamb breaking it up with a fork in the bacony pan as it browns.
  3. Tip in the caramelized onions, Marsala, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring the pan to the boil.
  4. Simmer the ragu for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Sprinkle over the cheese before serving, if using.

Caramelized Onions:

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 cups sliced onions (about 2 medium size onions)
  3. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are a deep golden brown and soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure to use a gentle heat and cook the onions slowly so they don't burn. Onions will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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