Pasta with Spice-Infused Ground Lamb and Green Peas is delicious fusion comfort food, offering up the best of Italian and Indian cuisines. Affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items I would be discussing and linking to anyway. Further, I was given a free copy of Spices and Seasons, as well as a copy to give away, but I was not compensated in any other way for this post.
I am having one of those weeks. Under the weather and barely keeping up. So I sincerely hope I am not too brief, because this dish and this cookbook deserve some serious attention. Remember when I shared the Green Mint Chutney on Cauliflower and Corn Chaat? Maybe you also remember that I said a bigger review and giveaway would be forthcoming for Rinku‘s new Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors? Here it is!
I chose to make this pasta dish, which is a fusion of Italian and Indian cuisines; Rinku thinks of it as a winter dish, but as you may recall, my family loves kheema any time of year–and pasta too for that matter. So it was an easy decision.
I did make some changes. The first and easiest is that I used beef. Secondly, I added mushrooms and chopped sweet bell peppers to the sauce, making the dish a completely one pot meal, no salad needed (although a salad would not go amiss if you have the time and energy!). I wish I had had more basil (the plants on my windowsill are just getting going) so I only had some to add–I do recommend buying some if you are counting on a recently planted plant.
About the book itself. Guys it is gorgeous. Really gorgeous, full color photos for all of the recipes. Hard back. It has a seasonal theme, and if Rinku’s first book (The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles) was an exploration of Bengali cooking, this book I think is a more vivid representation of how Rinku actually cooks, here in America. Which is not to say it is not Indian–it is–but it is so much more as well. It is not afraid to mash up an Indian kheema with Italian Bolognese, for example, as in this recipe. And did I mention the photos?
And now for the exciting part! Hippocrene Books is giving away a copy to one of my readers! OK I am trying Rafflecopter for the first time. Giveaway is now closed.
- ¼ cup oil, preferably olive oil
- 1 large white onion, preferably Spanish or sweet vidalia, chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1½-inch cinnamon stick
- 2 or 3 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 3 whole cloves
- ¾ pound ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 (3/4 lb) medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper powder
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 cups any pasta of your choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Heat the oil in a pan until medium hot, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the white onion, ginger, and garlic. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves and mix well.
- Add the ground lamb and mix well.
- Stir in the turmeric and salt and mix well. Cook the lamb for 6 to 7 minutes until it begins to release its juices and starts turning light brown.
- Add the tomatoes and cayenne pepper powder and continue cooking the mixture for another 10 minutes, until the tomatoes turn nice and saucy.
- Add the peas and stir well. Add ½ cup of water and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, mix a large pot of water with the salt and olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for the amount of time indicated on the box. Drain.
Mix the pasta with the sauce, mix in the basil and cilantro and serve immediately.