Pasta with Spice-Infused Ground Lamb and Green Peas
From Spices and Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors, by Rinku Bhattacharya (Hippocrene Books, Inc.)
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes
“I love the Italian classic Bolognese sauce, and I love the classic Indian dish called Keema Matar (ground lamb with green peas). This recipe offers a fusion take on both these dishes, making for an unusual and flavorful pasta dish. It is a wonderful and hearty meal for a winter evening. I like to make this using my stored summer tomatoes. If you wish, you can use gluten-free pasta for this recipe.” —Rinkyu Bhattacharya
For the Keema Masala Sauce:
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
¾ pound ground lamb
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
4 medium tomatoes (about ¾ pound), cut into a dice
1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper powder
¾ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
For the Pasta:
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 and serve immediately.
- When cooking the pasta, our Test Kitchen recommends using a tablespoon of salt for a large pot water.
Photo by Rinku Bhattacharya