Every year I eagerly await the few weeks when Hy-Vee has black velvet apricots in season to make my Criminara Sauce, a crimson marinara-like sauce I make from them and mangos for my wife, who cannot have tomatoes. I typically make two to three batches, and while I make other 'stone sauces' throughout the year, this is my favorite.
This is the first batch this year. I make enough for several meals, so this batch will be used with at least a couple more dishes.
Remove stones and stems from 12 black velvet apricots starting to go soft and puree in food processor. Place in medium-large saucepan. Remove skins and pits from 2 golden alaufo mangos and one common mango. Dice, puree, and add to saucepan with 1 tbsp turbinado sugar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp Turkish fine ground Sumatran espresso coffee, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup creme de coco, 1/4 cup strawberry wine, and 1/4 cup silver rum. Cook together on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, then drop heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes longer, stirring regularly.
Add 1 tbsp turbinado sugar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp sweet basil, and 1 tsp lavender flowers and drop heat to low. Cook 30 minutes. Stir in 2 tsp salt or until taste. Cover and let simmer off to the side on a spare burner while the meat sauce below and pasta is prepared:
Peel and dice two medium-large Vidalia sweet onions and one bulb of elephant garlic. Place in large saucepan with olive oil and set on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once onions are largely translucent and beginning to brown a little, add 1 lb ground bison, 1 lb ground lamb. 1/4 cup silver rum, 1/4 cup creme de coco, 1 tbsp kosher salt, 1 tsp crushed rosemary, 1/2 tsp ground thyme, and 1/2 tsp ground sage. Stir together and brown on medium-high heat (5), then cook for maybe 10-15 minutes longer.
Serve over pasta with criminara sauce on top and any other desired toppings. Rachel had hers over brown rice rotini, while I had mine over spaghetti, as shown above. The sauce this time turned a deep rich red with a nice tart taste that acts in counterpoint to the meat sauce.
The sauces are both gluten-free, and can be served over gluten-free pasta made from brown rice, corn, quinoa, or other grains.