If you are looking for a rich meaty bolstering dinner, then here it is!
I found some great Australian ground lamb on sale and snapped it up. Some people find lamb too rich, but when you simmer it with complimentary spices and add some good toothsome pasta, the richness feels right.
If you have a crowd coming over for dinner and don’t want to kill yourself cooking, then this is a pretty great way to go. It is not a bit laborious and you can sit down at the same time to eat as everyone else.
And for dessert, go with something equally simple: Oranges and Cream!
So call up a few friends and make it happen!
3 to 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion – large dice
4 cloves garlic – chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms (what ever you have or like) – sliced
2 lbs ground lamb (you could also try turkey or beef or combination of whatever you have on hand)
1 1/2 cups grated or matchstick carrots
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika (regular paprika will do in a pinch – hot or sweet
1 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
1 lb rigatoni or other large pasta like calamarata
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (more for garnish)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 – Put large saute pan or shallow casserole on medium heat (large enough to hold completed dish) and add about 2 tbs olive oil. When it has warmed up, add the onions, mushroom and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 or so minutes.
2 – Add all the spices (oregano, paprika, cumin, chili flakes, salt, lemon zest) and continue to cooking for another 5 minutes. Turn up the heat a little if you need to.
*Put water on for pasta, adding salt to the water*
3 – Add the lamb and break it up and incorporate into the spice mixture. Turn the heat up to high and cook the meat, stirring often, until it begins to brown all over.
*start cooking the pasta. reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water before draining – may need later*
4 – Add the carrots and the tomato paste and stir. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, letting the flavors meld. Add the stock and when it comes to a bubble, turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 12 to 14 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt to your taste. Add the lemon juice.
5 – Add the drained cooked pasta directly into the sauce and stir. Stir in the yoghurt and add some of the pasta cooking water if you want a looser sauce.
Serve family style in a big serving bowl in the middle of the table with a nice crispy salad and more yogurt, and possibly hot sauce for anyone wanting some extra zing.
Or divide between warmed bowls or plates and let everyone add a condiment or garnish according to what they like!