- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 16-ounce can)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and then the lamb. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, tomatoes, and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce, pepper, and mint.
Variation Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Meat Sauce: You can substitute 1 pound of ground beef for the ground lamb. Use the same procedure, but decrease the cumin to 11/2 teaspoons and use parsley rather than mint.
The spiciness of the cumin, the earthiness of the whole-wheat spaghetti, and the gaminess of the lamb are best with a full-bodied, slightly rough red wine such as a Côtes-du-Rhône from the southern part of France.