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I think you all probably know how much I love cumin, love lamb and love eggplant but I never really thought of the three of them together until I read this recipe in an old issue of Food & Wine magazine. I have tweaked it a bit – cut down on the oil and pumped up the garlic, cumin and oregano. Here you go – not quite pretty but oh so tasty!
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 medium eggplant (1 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping tsp. dried Greek oregano
1 heaping tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, preferably hot (Pimenton Ahumado)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 lb. ground lamb
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken stock
12 ounces gemelli
1/2 cup zero fat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped mint
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over low-moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 – 12 minutes. Increase heat to moderate. Add the eggplant, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika and crushed red pepper and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Increase the heat a bit and add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for at least 2 minutes to get the flavor to “bloom”. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the sauce is thickened, about 12 minutes.
Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Stir the pasta into the sauce; add 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water if necessary; (I didn’t) add more water if a thinner sauce is desired. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the yogurt and mint. Taste and season with salt if necessary (I didn’t) and serve hot.
For more recipes like this, visit my personal blog: LOVE – the secret ingredient