Introduction: Toothsome Lamb Pasta

It's 6pm and your belly has just realized that the cookie[1] you ate for lunch was wholly inadequate, so now it is mad at you and is kicking up a fuss.  Somehow a craving for umami bathed in the graces of sour and sweet develops from the roaring void within you.  A plan coalesces and you gather your ingredients, your knives, you boards and pots and your nose.  You are ready to cook.  Or are you? [2]

I am frustrated with the stereotype that hackers, nerds, and engineers subsist only on Doritos, Cheezits, and Mountain Dew.  Sure, there are times that that is the case, but when it comes right down to it cooking is just as worthwhile a project as any other.  Sure, it doesn't shoot 70m tall fire jets out of Furbies, but it does fill your belly and it's all the better if it tickles your tastebuds' fancy along the way.

I am going to share here with you a recipe that I have recently developed that someone else probably developed before but I didn't know about it and so can claim it.  And if you've stuck with me through that beast of a run-on sentence surely you can cook this.  It's not that hard.

Tonight we'll be making pasta sauce from scratch using lamb sausage as a protein and many other lovely ingredients to meet the rest of your metabolic requirements.

[1] This is actually common for me.
[2]

Step 1: Ingredients Are Important


You need stuff to cook with in order to have food to eat after having had cooked it.  Tautology aside, here's the ingredient list:

{1} 2 Moroccan lamb sausages.  These are spicy.
{2} 2 medium zucchini.
{3} 2 yellow squash things.
{4} 3 tomatoes as pictured.
{5} 1 little onion.
{6} 3 cloves garlic.
{7} Some mushrooms.
{8} 500g pasta.
{9} Rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper.

This will wind up making enough food for 4 people easily, but since I live alone (::sadface::) I've been eating it for the past week.  It's still quite tasty leftover.


Step 2: Onions Rule


Dice your onion.  Do not dice your fingers.  Dice your onion until is has been reduced to 1cm^2 bits, and then dice it just a little bit more.

Then peel the cloves of garlic and crush them under the flat of your kitchen knife's blade to release their tasty oils.  Dice them up too until they're very finely diced.

Prepare the lamb sausage[3] by cutting it into 0.75cm thick chunks in the traverse plane.  You'll need it in a moment.

OK, OK, so...

Throw a handful of canola oil into a large pan and throw the onion and garlic in on top of it.  Turn the heat up to about 80%.  Add 1.5ml rosemary and 1.0ml thyme.  The onions and spices will start to crackle and smell delicious as you stir them together.  Keep them on heat, stirring occasionally [4] to prevent them from adhering to the pan, until they begin to caramelize.  Caramelizing is indicated by the onions turning a little bit brown and shedding their sharp acetylene odor in favor of a more buttery tone.

[3] I almost put a picture of a lamb in here until I realized just how cute they are. I felt bad for a few milliseconds about eating one, but then that ceased when I remembered just how delicious this meal is.
[4] I use wooden chopsticks to prevent scratching the bottom of my pans.

Step 3: Add Meat, Stir


Time to add that lamb sausage.  Reduce the head to about 65% and stir it into the onion/spice/oil mixture until the lamb pieces are evenly coated in delectability.  Let it go until it becomes rather brownish and stir occasionally to get all sides cooked evenly.  While this is cooking, it's a great time to wash the meat-cutting board and the knife so you don't have to worry about it later.  Unless your stove is Megadoomefficient, you'll also have time to dice up the zucchini and yellow squash into ~1.5cm^3 chunks.

Once the lamb is done, use a slotted spoon and remove it from the heat and deposit it into a separate container [5] to add back later.  Keep as much of that now-delicious oil in the pan as possible.

[5] I didn't plan for this and had to improvise with a nearby pot.

Step 4: Zukey Squash


Now that the meat is out of the way of the oil, you need to add in the vegetables.  You diced them before getting this step right?

Cook them until they get a bit sweaty and begin to get soft.  Next you're going to have to add the tomatoes, which you should be dicing into the same size as the zucchini (1.5cm^3) as you read this.

Step 5: Add Tomatoes, Eat Tomato

Throw in the tomatoes and stir in.  It'll start to steam heavily and everything will begin to get juicy.  So will your mouth with saliva.

Step 6: Eating Tomatoes!

Luckily I have provided you something for your watering mouth.  I included too many tomatoes in the bill of materials, so take the last one and eat it with salt.  I use salt, pepper, and paprika on my tomatoes, but anyway, this is a nommish prelude to what is to come.

Step 7: Sauce

Now as the tomatoes begin to reduce into the zucchini and squash, throw the sausage back in and stir it in.  It'll blend in with the rest of the sauce and make everything taste a lot better.

Step 8: End Meal

This is the hardest part of the entire recipe: letting it simmer down.

You'll have to wait until the tomatoes are reduced into a nice paste-like consistency and have suspended all the other ingredients.  You'll need to simmer it at least as long as it takes to boil a pound of pasta to al dente condition.  Then drain the noodles and glop a big dollop of this sauce on top.  Serve happily with a nugget of crusty bread and some orange Italian soda and your belly will be very happy for a long time to come.

I do warn you, though, that you will have a hard time not having 2 servings with this meal.

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Bio: I am the founder of Ajatus Laboratories and one of the directors of the All Hands Active hackerspace. I firmly believe that the urge to ... More »
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