I had some leftover lamb that was marinated in a bulgogi marinade from a recent cooking class and was planning on making a quick noodle dish with it. I was thinking more of an Asian rice noodle dish at first, but then when the time came I thought it would be fun to make an Italian pasta with it. Then I realized I could call it bulgognese and immediately started cooking. This was one of my favorite things I have made in a long time and I ate the entire thing over the course of a few days while Georgina was on a work trip.
The marinated meat goes in with some onion and carrot. I was considering adding garlic but there is already 5 cloves in the marinade.
After the meat is cooked down, more of the marinade goes in.
After that cooks down, some gochujang and tomato paste.
In between each step this cooked for 5 or 10 or even 15 minutes so in the end it looks really pasty and brown like this.
Add some water first, and then coconut cream.
Finally, cook the noodles and add them to the sauce.
I topped it with a drizzle of sesame oil, some sesame seeds, gochugaru, scallions, and cucumber. Incredible.
This really had the essence of bolognese but with strong Korean flavors. There is pear, honey, and ginger in the marinade that gives it a nice sweetness, and plenty of gochujang that makes the whole dish fiery hot in a good way. The lamb added some extra richness that would be missing if it were just ground beef.
Lamb Bulgogi Bolognese
MEAT AND MARINADE
- 1 pear or apple
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 inches ginger sliced thin
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tablesoons honey
- 1 pound ground lamb
SAUCE AND PASTA
- sesame oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1 pound pasta I like rigatoni for this but you do you
- drizzle of sesame oil
- sesame seed
- gochugaru Korean chili flakes
- sliced cucumbers
- sliced scallions
- Mix the pear, gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, honey, and a few pinches of salt in a food processor and process until smooth and broken down.
- Put the lamb in a bowl and stir in 1/2 of the marinade. Mix until combined and set aside in the fridge for at least an hour or preferably overnight. Put the other half of the marinade in another bowl, cover, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a large frying pan with a little sesame oil, cook the onion and carrot over medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes until very reduced in size and starting to brown on the edges.
- Add in the meat that has been marinating overnight. Stir to combine and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook and stir and break apart the meat for about 10 minutes until everything is nice and brown.
- Add in the rest of the marinade and cook another 5 minutes until browned and perfectly mixed with the rest of the sauce. Add in the tomato paste and gochujang and cook another 5 - 10 minutes. The whole mixture should be brown and pasty. See above photo for references.
- Add in about 1 cup of water to loosen up the sauce. Stir to combine. Add in the coconut cream and stir to combine. Allow this mixture to simmer on low heat for about a half hour, stirring occasionally.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and strain when it is al dente. Add the pasta right into the sauce, adding a little pasta cooking liquid if needed to loosen up the sauce to a desired texture.
- Serve the pasta and top with a sprinkle of all the garnishes.