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Pasta with Lamb and Saffron: What Else Would You Add?

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So I'm making a very simple (and delicious!) dish using pieces of leg of lamb that are sauteed and some beef stock, along with onion, garlic, sage, and saffron, over pasta, w/some grated romano on the side, and I want to add complexity to the dish. I'm thinking of adding shitake mushrooms, as well as some fresh basil and/or mint, and wish to query Ye Food Experts as to what else might pair well with the above, especially vegetables to sautee/braise. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, and thanks.

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  1. A side of carrots braised with prunes would be really really good with this, I think.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Allstonian

      I too am thinking carrots and maybe a light garnish of mint. Carrots go well with the sage and garlic, for me anyway..

    2. Think about using couscous instead of pasta. I think the braised carrots idea is terrific, as well as spiced okra, grilled eggplant, and/or pumpkin sauce.

      1. What you have sounds good and there are a variety of vegetables that you could add, the mushrooms sound good, carrots are a good suggestion as well as other root vegetables, or even beans such as fava. Also if you want to add some complexity you could include some wine in the braising liquid.

        1. I enjoy potatoes with lamb, but I see you've selected pasta. I'd add a stem of fresh rosemary, and allow that to cook some...or just before serving, add the *ZEST* of a lemon. These flavors will add another layer to your already tasty lamb dish.

          Proof that lemon zest can work w/ pasta: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/283041?
          And we know it works well with lamb -- plus the yellowness of the saffron. Wow!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cheese Boy

            I could NOT AGREE MORE with the lemon zest idea. I think it's fabulous. If your guests won't run in horror, do consider brussel sprouts as a side, (and you can use some lemon juice with them), which will stand up to the lamb nicely and add some texture.

          2. I love the above ideas! Since I like to see the colour RED in dishes, I would also recommend some roasted red peppers or tomatoes.

            1. I would stongly encourage you to leave out the shitake mushrooms which sound like they would class terribly. Sub buttons and some lemon.

              1. Add black olives to the pasta dish. One of my favorite restaurants serves a wonderful pappardelle with lamb ragu that includes wonderful black olives and pecorino. It's delicious.

                1. I definitely agree that the bright notes of a little citrus zest will add a lot to this dish. In addition to lemon, consider orange. Orange and mint.

                  1. A Persian style rice with cherries or currants would go nicely.

                    1. A splash of cream or dollop of plain yogurt for richness.

                      1. Pine nuts?

                        1. A touch of cinnamon (not too much!) would tilt it in a Greek direction.