Blogger Ashley Rodriguez creates a rich, creamy lamb ragù with delicious Greek flavors; it's a total crowd-pleaser and a nice alternative to more common Italian pasta dishes.
Slideshow: Meaty Pasta Recipes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 medium eggplant (1 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, preferably hot
Pinch of crushed red pepper
3/4 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken stock
8 ounces gemelli
1/2 cup whole plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped mint
How to Make It
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika and crushed red pepper and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the sauce is thickened, 12 minutes.
Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente, 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Stir the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water into the sauce; add more water if a thinner sauce is desired. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the yogurt and mint. Season with salt and serve hot.
The lamb sauce can be refrigerated overnight and reheated.
Dark-berried Barbera d'Alba.
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