I love photographing noodles. There is something so beautiful in their monochromatic straight lines when they’re uncooked. Gentle and unassuming. Toss them in a pot of boiling water and them become wild and unruly, curling towards the heavens bursting to be tossed in the perfect sauce. Only then, is their true nature revealed. A nutty, starchy carrier inflated with the intricacies of olive oil, tomatoes, coarse sea salt.
I wanted to cook something simple for this weeks post and my weekly inbox newsletter from Food and Wine was the source of inspiration: Spaghetti with Lamb and Mint. Lamb and mint are two words that will unquestionably get my attention. Individually, each will kick in salivation and a grumbling stomach. Bring the two together and everything stops. Mint’s bright, refreshing tanginess is the perfect balance to lamb’s gamey earthiness. Both warming and invigorating. I don’t know who figured out how amazingly wonderful lamb and mint are together, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find wild mint growing in places where lambs roam…
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lamb and Mint
Adapted from Food and Wine
What you’ll need~
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, washed and sliced, white and tender green parts
1 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1 lb whole-wheat spaghetti
Black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
Handful of Moroccan Beldi olives
In a large pan warm olive oil of medium heat.
Toss in shallots and leeks stirring until softened.
Add garlic and lamb, cooking until the lamb is no longer pink.
Stir in cumin, tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt.
Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the spaghetti and cook until just barely done, about 15 minutes.
Working in batches, use your tongs to pull cooked spaghetti from the pot and drop in the pan with the simmering sauce.
Toss it all together, add your mint, olives and pepper and serve steaming hot.