heritage foods
Scraccetti Pasta with Lamb Sugo ala ‘Cardoz’, Lunetta in Brooklyn, NY, Chef Dave Scarlow

Dave dedicates this dish to Chef Floyd Cardoz of Tabla in NYC. “He took me in and taught me everything I know...but not everything he knows.” This recipe calls for a good amount of Indian spices and yogurt, a wonderful combination with lamb. Dave makes his version with pasta


For the Lamb Sugo:
5 lbs lamb shoulder cut into cubes the size of an apricot
1 bottle dry white wine
2 large onions, finely diced
1 carrot, grated
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
1 piece of ginger the size of a walnut, minced
1 quart lamb or chicken stock
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 bundle of rosemary and thyme tied together with butcher’s string or cheesecloth
Aged goat cheese to finish

Spices for the lamb:
1 whole stick of cinnamon
4 cloves
10 green cardamom pods
3 black cardamom pods
2 tablespoons black pepper, ground
6 tablespoons coriander seed, ground
4 small dried chilies

For the sauce:
Fresh pasta, pappardelle or whole sheets sometimes called ‘Stracccetti’ streets
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Parsley, chopped
Mint, chopped
Peas, cooked


Get it started:
Season the lamb with kosher salt the night before you want to serve this dish.
Put the lamb in a cold wide skillet in a single layer and turn the heat on medium high.
Cook undisturbed until a golden brown fond forms on the bottom of the pan and the lamb is now cooking loudly in its own rendered fat. (Fond is what the French call the juices and bits of food left in a pan after cooking and is used to flavor foods by using the same pan.)
Tip the pan and remove the fat with a spoon and then put half the wine in the pot and scrape all the fond off the bottom and stir into the meat.
Continue to cook undisturbed until the above step happens again.  This time the sauce will be darker, richer and more aromatic.  Add the rest of the wine and stir it all into the meat and slightly reduce the wine.
Empty all the above into a casserole including all juices from the pan and clean the pan.
Add a good glug of olive oil to the pan and turn the heat on low. 
Add the whole cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves and cook for 5 minutes in the warm oil until the spices fill the room.
Turn up the heat and add the onion, carrot, garlic and sliced ginger.
Sweat this all out until it is soft and sticky.
Add in the ground coriander, black pepper, and chile and cook a minute more.
Add in the stock and reduce by half.
Add the lamb back into the pan along with the yogurt and tied herbs.
Cover the pan and place in the oven at 275 - 300°F for about 2.5 hours.

When the sauce is done the meat will be falling from the bone and smelling special and amazing.
Let rest on the stovetop for a half hour and skim the fat from the top with a ladle.
(If the sauce is not thick enough yet, cook it on a medium flame to reduce it until it can coat the back of a spoon.  Be sure to keep an eye as the yogurt can stick and burn)
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To finish:
Heat half a cup of sauce in a pan and then drop your fresh pasta sheets in a pot of boiling water to cook.
Cook the fresh pasta for about 2 minutes and then toss with sauce cooking for one more minute on a low flame.
Taste for salt, squeeze a lemon wedge or two to brighten the flavor, and add a handful of parsley, mint and peas to finish.

Twirl the pasta onto a plate and grate the goat cheese on top.