Tagliarini with Almond-Arugula Pesto and Meatballs
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 1/2 medium red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed lavender
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 6-ounce bunch of arugula
- 1/2 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 1/4 pounds fresh tagliarini
- In a bowl, mix the pork and lamb with the onion, wine, parsley, zest, thyme, fennel, lavender and red pepper. Add one-third of the garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Roll the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
- In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat, turning frequently, until browned, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until no trace of pink remains. Transfer to a plate.
- In a food processor, puree the arugula with the almonds, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and garlic. Scrape the pesto into a bowl; season with salt and pepper.
- In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta; transfer it to bowl. Toss the pasta with the pesto and 1/2 cup of the cooking water; add more water if the sauce is dry. Serve with the meatballs and more Parmesan and olive oil.
This tagliarini with pork and lamb meatballs can stand up to a big wine like a California Cabernet with plum and chocolate notes.