Perhaps you remember the lamb pizza I posted about way back when? How good it is when you’ve rolled it up with a mint leaf and dipped it in a bowl of garlic-laced yogurt? This dish is just like that, only on noodles. Oh my god it was so good. Heading straight into the repertoire, this one is.
I found this recipe in the book Olives and Oranges, which is a wildly attractive cookbook and full of the kinds of things I like best to eat. The recipe is really straightforward and simple, and takes hardly any time to prepare – about as long as it takes the pasta water to boil. The resulting pasta is a thick tangle of noodles drenched in tart yogurt sauce, studded with lamb and pine nuts and the occasional spark of hot chile or raw garlic.
This would be great with a tossed green salad or cooked greens, but we ate it with cold grilled eggpant and it was beyond sublime. Add a bottle of good red wine and you, like us, will be happy.
Spaghetti with lamb, yogurt and pine nuts
adapted from Olives and Oranges by Sara Jenkins (serves four)
- 1 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (divided)
- 1/2 tsp red chile flakes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, minced
- small handful of pine nuts
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 1 pound ground lamb
- kosher salt
- 1/2 pound thin spaghetti noodles
- black pepper
Get a large pot of water set to boil.
Stir together yogurt, chile flakes, half of the garlic and half of the mint.
Saute onion and the rest of the garlic in oil. Add pine nuts and butter and cook until the pine nuts are just beginning to brown. Scrape into the yogurt mixture and stir.
Add lamb to the skillet, salt it lightly and cook until well browned. Strain off some of the liquid if it’s particularly fatty.
Cook pasta until just done. Drain and toss in a large bowl with half the lamb and half the yogurt. Add remaining lamb, yogurt and mint and toss it all up well. Add lots of black pepper (if you remember – I forgot this part, but it’s a good idea). Serve. Schlurp.