Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Greek-Style Penne with Lamb, Parsnips, Cinnamon, and Tomatoes

This is a recipe that sounds far fancier than it is. It probably could've benefited from a little more simmering, but it's satisfying and relatively quick once you finish chopping all of those parsnips. I substituted ground beef for the lamb because the Metro decided it didn't want to stock ground beef the day I was in the store and added some sliced kalamata olives and fresh mint to add to the Greek taste.

Happy New Year.

One year ago: Corn and Black Bean Tamale Pie

Greek-Style Penne with Lamb, Parsnips, Cinnamon, and Tomatoes (adapted from epicurious.com

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 very large onion, halved through root end, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick 340g medium parsnips, peeled, cut on slight diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
225g ground lamb (or beef or veal)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 regular-sized cans diced tomatoes in juice
340g ounces penne
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Crumbled feta cheese
Sliced kalamata olives

1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and parsnips and sauté until slightly softened and deep golden brown around edges, about 9 minutes.
3. Add garlic; stir 1 minute.
4. Add lamb and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in cinnamon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Add tomatoes with juice; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until parsnips are tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
8. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid (I didn't need the extra liquid, but I was using canned whole Italian tomatoes). Return pasta to pot.
9. Add lamb mixture and enough cooking liquid to moisten; toss.
10. Add parsley and mint. Transfer to plates and sprinkle with feta and olives.

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