Here’s a nice Bon Appetit pasta dish that’s a little out of the ordinary with its ground lamb and smoked paprika, which adds a really nice subtle flavor.
Great for a weeknight meal, this cooks up pretty quickly. Note that recipe, as written, would serve at least four. Cut it in half if there’s only one or two of you and you don’t like at ton of leftovers.
What you’ll need
- 2T cumin seeds
- 0.5 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2T double-concentrated tomato paste (I used 4T single-concentrated paste)
- 1T smoked paprika
- 1t crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 lb. pappardelle or other wide noodle (I did use pappardelle to good effect)
- 0.5 cup coarsely chopped mint, plus more for serving
What do to
Coarsely grind the cumin seeds in mortar and pestle or spice mill. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large high-sided frypan over medium-high. Add the shallots and season them with kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened and beginning to brown around the edges—6 to 9 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir it in to coat the shallots. Cook, stirring often, until the paste has darkened in color—about 3 minutes.
Add the smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes and reserved ground cumin seeds. Cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant—about 30 seconds, then add the ground lamb, breaking it into small pieces with a cooking spoon. Season the frypan contents with salt and cook the lamb, stirring occasionally, until it is cooked through. Reduce the heat to low to keep the frypan warm while the pasta is cooking.
Cook the wide-noodle pasta to al dente, according to the package directions. Before draining, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot, off-heat.
With the pasta cooked, increase the heat under the frypan with the lamb and add a cup of the pasta water, stirring to combine. Add about half the lamb mixture and the chopped mint to pasta, cooking it over medium-low heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid to loosen, if needed, until the sauce coats pasta—about 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
To serve, divide the pasta among shallow bowls, topping the pasta with the remaining lamb mixture from the frypan. Top with more mint as an optional garnish.