Drunken Lamb Mostaccioli with Baby Bella Mushrooms in a White Truffle Goat Cheese Sauce

Pasta oh pasta! Here you are again, in my life, making every moment of it worth living. As someone who pushes himself to try new things in the kitchen, I will never stop putting together pasta dishes. Aside from its versatility, there is such a home-like feeling whenever I sit down to a big bowl of it. Perhaps it is my inner-Italian feeling the love. Who knows? What is clear is that I have the most fun putting together new pasta dishes, especially when they involve an interesting protein.

I adore lamb in every way. Grill it. Broil it. Pan-sear it. Smoke it. Roast it. I don’t care. I’ll eat it by itself or with couscous and veggies, in a pita, on a skewer, next to a tangy cucumber sauce or with an herby mint pesto. If humans of the world were as non-discriminatory toward one another as I am to lamb, peace would pervade every land. And so, when I came across this leg of lamb, I decided to do something to it I don’t often do. I got it drunk!

My Drunken Lamb Mostaccioli with Baby Bella Mushrooms in a White Truffle Goat Cheese Sauce starts off in a braise of white wine and chicken stock and ends in a creamy sauce flavored lightly with white truffle oil. It is a hearty and savory accompaniment to the baby bella mushrooms and the mostaccioli that ultimately come together in one harmoniously-delicious dish.

This pasta recipe is great for dinner parties, works perfectly when served family style, and will have everyone craving the flavors permeating this dish long after they’ve eaten.

Drunken Lamb Mostaccioli with Baby Bella Mushrooms in a White Truffle Goat Cheese Sauce

(recipe serving size – 6-8 people)

For seasoning the lamb:

3 lb lamb leg, cut into 2-inch cubes (roughly 16 cubes)

1 tb olive oil

2 tsp herbes de provence

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

Coat the lamb in the oil and spices. Seal the lamb in a plastic food storage bag or container and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

For the searing and the braise:

2 1/2 cups of chicken stock

2 1/2 cups of dry white wine (Entwine Pinot Grigio)

2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 cubanelle peppers, sliced

8 cloves of garlic, smashed (skins off)

8 mint leaves, chopped

8 basil leaves

2 sprigs rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp herbes de provence

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tb olive oil

2 tb butter

Preheat oven to 350.

In a dutch oven or oven-safe pot, sear the pieces of lamb over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side in the olive oil. Do this in batches so not to crowd. Remove the lamb and set aside. Add the onions and peppers and mint to the pot along with the butter. Season with the salt, cracked black pepper, herbes de provence and the crushed red pepper flakes and sauté for 10 minutes.

Return the lamb to the pot with the onions and peppers. Add the wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, basil, rosemary, garlic and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and place in the oven on the center rack with the lid on. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the lamb is fork-tender.

For the sauce:

12 oz goat cheese

1 tb white truffle oil

1 tb butter

1 clove garlic, finely minced

Remove the lamb, rosemary sprigs and bay leaves from the pot and emulsify the braise until smooth. Bring the braise to a vibrant simmer over medium to medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes to reduce slightly. Melt the goat cheese into the sauce and add the truffle oil, butter and garlic. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium. Return the lamb to the pot and simmer gently for 30 minutes with the lid off.

For the mushrooms:

24 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

2 tb butter

2 tb white truffle oil

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter in the truffle oil. Add the mushrooms to the pan and toss to coat each piece in the butter and oil. Cook for 10 minutes until browned (do this in batches if you are using a smaller pan so the mushrooms are not crowded and they brown evenly). Season with the salt and pepper halfway through the cooking process.

Bringing it all together:

1 lb mostaccioli

1 1/2 tb olive oil

1 tb kosher salt

1/4 cup fresh basil for garnish

Cracked black pepper available for additional heat

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, oil and salt. Stir to prevent the pasta from sticking to one another and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.

Temporarily scoop the pieces of braised lamb out of the pot and onto a plate 1 minute before your pasta is done. Cover the lamb to keep it warm. Add the pasta to the pot along with the mushrooms and stir until the noodles are completely coated. Add a little pasta water if you find the sauce has become too thick.

For serving from the pot, place the pieces of lamb on top of the noodles in the pot and garnish with the fresh basil.

For serving from a dish, transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Place the pieces of lamb on top of the noodles and garnish with the fresh basil.

Serve while warm with the cracked black pepper available for your guests to add and enjoy!

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