Comfort Sauce is Good Anytime — Une sauce réconfortante à tout moment

I swear that most of the time, the things that I do not cook often taste much better. This is called “créer le manque” (to create a situation where you miss a thing), even if P. does not believe in it at all.


This is something that I like to do when he hates it. Funny to see how different we are faced with the same situation. You might think that it does not matter, but to me, having a dish rarely increases how much I appreciate it. We all have our quirks.

This recipe is so simple that you might very well just not even look at it, skip and move on. But I have a confession. I adored it. I ate devoured my first plate alone a few days ago, as P. was out with colleagues for dinner. I had told him I was making une sorte de bolognese for dinner and his reply had been “Mmmm, ça sera encore meilleur demain”. Yes better tomorrow, he was so right.

I am a sucker for these types of meals. They are made ahead of time and can be reheated over and over again. Why is it that they taste better the second time, I often wonder? The flavors probably simply develop even more. They are far from being elegant, rustic to their best, of the eat-as-much-as-you-like kind. I am not often greedy for second servings but for such dishes, as simple as they may be, I always like to take a little more, and a little more again. Juste une de plus !

Instead of beef, I chose ground lamb because I wanted to use cumin and coriander, two spices that are perfect for this type of meat. I added vegetables as well, carrots, celery and mushrooms, and tomatoes of course. Since this sauce simmers for a long time, it becomes thicker as a lot of the tomato juice evaporates. As to the pasta, I had so many choices! Spaghetti? Maybe. Penne? Peut-être aussi. And then, I remembered this pretty pasta bought a few weeks before. That was it. Decision made. With a sauce like this and a pasta that nice, I felt like the queen having a feast on her own.

Why don’t you do this more often P. asked me the following day.
Pour que tu l’apprécies mieux la prochaine fois (so that you appreciate it more next time) I persisted.

Lamb and Vegetable Sauce for Festive Pasta

You need:

  • 3 shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 14 1/4 oz ground lamb (or another meat if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 celery branches, diced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 tsp dried tomato paste
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes, with juice (1 lb 12 oz)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • Pasta
  • Fresh parmesan, grated thinly


  • For the sauce and the pasta , start by preparing your vegetables and keep them on the side.
  • Heat 3 Tsbp olive oil in a sautée pan and cook the meat for a few mns, until all brown. Keep on the side.
  • In the same pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and cook the chopped shallots for 3 mns, then add the chopped garlic and the celery. Add the cumin and coriander powder and mix well. Cook for 5 mns before adding the julienned carrot. Continue to cook for 3 to 4 mns.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook for 6 to 7 mns until they give out water. Then add the tomato paste and sugar. Mix well and add the diced tomatoes, with their juice. Add the meat, season with salt and pepper and add 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley. Let simmer uncovered for 1 hour on low heat.
  • To serve, cook the pasta according to your package instructions and serve with the sauce and freshly grated parmesan.

Le coin français
Une sauce à l’agneau et aux légumes pour des pâtes festives

Ingrédients :

  • 3 échalotes
  • 3 gousses d’ail
  • 400 g de hachis d’agneau (ou un autre mélange, tel porc et veau)
  • 1 càc de cumin en poudre
  • 1 càc de coriandre en poudre
  • 2 branches de céleri coupées en brunoise
  • 2 carottes coupées en julienne
  • 300 g de champignons de Paris, émincés finement
  • Huile d’olive
  • Sel et poivre
  • 1,5 càs de concentré de tomates sèchées
  • 1 boîte de tomates pelées entières avec jus (800 g)
  • 1 càs de sucre roux
  • 1 gros bouquet de persil
  • Pâtes
  • Parmesan frais râpé

Étapes :

  • Pour la sauce et les pâtes , commencez par préparer vos légumes et mettez-les de côté.
  • Faites chauffer 3 càs d’huile d’olive dans une sauteuse et faites-y revenir la viande hachée. Cuisez pendant quelques minutes et mettez-la de côté.
  • Dans la même sauteuse, chauffez 2 càs d’huile d’olive et faites-y revenir l’échalote hachée pendant 3 mns, puis ajoutez l’ail haché et les petits dés de céleri. Ajoutez la poudre de cumin et de coriandre et remuez. Faites revenir pendant 5 mns et ensuite, ajoutez la julienne de carotte. Poursuivez la cuisson pendant 3 à 4 mns.
  • Ajoutez les champignons émincés et faites cuire pendant 6 à 7 mns, jusqu’à ce qu’ils donnent du jus. Ajoutez alors le concentré de tomates et le sucre. Remuez bien et ajoutez les tomates concassées avec leur jus. Remuez et ajoutez la viande réservée, assaisonnez de sel et poivre et ajoutez 2 càs de persil frais hache. Sans couvrir, laissez mijoter pendant 1 heure.
  • Pour servir, faites cuires des pâtes fraîches ou pas, telles des spirales ou des spaghetti, selon votre envie, et servez avec du bon fromage râpé.
Posted in Grains, Meat


  1. oups tres bonne idee de sauce cela change de la viande hachee et puis avec de si belles pates il faut en sauce haute en couleurs et en gout…

  2. Wow, I wish I had this one waiting in my fridge. With my head aching from sinus and a cold evening that would be so nice tonight. Lamb want a great change. Men can be so odd.

  3. Wow – doesn’t that pasta look fabulous! And the sauce sounds like one of those wonderful things you make a ton of and then freeze little parcels of it, to surprise yourself on evenings when you can’t face the kitchen 😉

  4. Mmmm, I made this the other day and it was faboo. I added a touch of truffle oil at the end. 🙂 The boyfriend absolutely loved it! Thanks for posting this!

  5. Somehow, with your special touches, you make even an old familiar recipe seem new and exciting again.

    Now I have to go find some ground lamb…

  6. Oui oui et re-oui ! Véritable fanatique des pâtes, j’adhère totalement à ta recette, surtout si on peut la préparer à l’avance et la faire longuement mijoter…J’en salive déjà ! Merci pour l’idée Béa !

  7. J’avais promis d’essayer cette recette dès sa publication sur ton blog. C’est le moment où jamais, je manque cruellement de légumes et mon organisme a grand besoin de simplicité après les agapes de fêtes de fin d’année ! Je m’y mets dès maintenant !

  8. La sauce mijote, c’est un vrai bonheur que de sentir toutes ses effluves dans la cuisine ! Je crois bien que ta recette figurera en bonne place demain dans mon billet du jour, si tu n’y vois pas d’inconvénient ! Merci Béa pour cette excellente recette qui change de la bolognaise devenue peut-être un peu trop classique chez nous !

    Amicalement blog,

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  10. BEAUTIFUL! May I ask – I just moved to Cambridge and don’t know where the best food shops are in the boston area. Where do you buy this gorgeous pasta? And where can one get ground lamb? Maybe you can identify a few good spots in your posts sometimes so I can learn my way around here? That would be wonderful.