Lamb Bolognese with Grana Padano

Classic Italian Bolognese Sauce gets an easy upgrade that makes it perfect for holidays or special occasions!  Tender ground lamb simmers in a flavorful red wine-tomato sauce and is served topped with a generous helping of nutty imported Grana Padano cheese. Similar to Parmigiano Reggiano, this Italian aged cow’s milk cheese has a slightly milder and sweeter flavor that’s perfect for this dish.

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2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/3 cup medium bodied red wine (such as Chianti or Pinot Noir)
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/3 cup milk
1 cup finely grated imported Grana Padano
Optional chopped parsley for garnish
1 lb cooked Pappardelle or other pasta for serving


Preheat olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
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Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add lamb and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and cook, breaking up lamb with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.
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Add red wine to the pan, increase heat to high and cook until nearly evaporated, stirring the bottom to scrape up any browned bits.
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Add bay leaf, thyme, sauce, and milk, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes for flavors to meld and sauce to reduce (Stir the sauce every 5 minutes or so and add water or broth if the pan starts to dry out).
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Stir 1/4 cup imported Grana Padano into the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss cooked pasta in with the sauce, and serve topped with remaining Grana Padano and optional parsley.
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Tip: Bolognese Sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and can also be frozen. Be sure to toss the hot pasta in and top with remaining imported Grana Padano just before serving.

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