Recently I went to my Epicurious app looking to change things up and this pasta dish stood out as a unique and easy way to liven up a week day. The combination of vegetables and lamb with that hint of spice from the cinnamon made the cooling temperatures more welcomed. We both enjoyed this dish very much and it would work well for company. Add an easy salad and some bread for the ultimate comfort food experience. Our Farmers Market closes after next weekend and I hope to scoop up some more parsnips to make this dish again.
My camera lens is on holiday in Wyandotte, Michigan at the camera repair shop and in the meantime I will be taking iPhone shots. My camera and lens made it through our trip to Traverse City, but at some point during the car ride home, the lens detached and must have been banging against the camera during the drive home. Sadness.
Recipe: Greek-Style Penne with Lamb, Parsnips, Tomatoes and Cinnamon
Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious, serves 6
2 T. olive oil
1 very large onion, halved through the root end, and cut lengthwise into 1/3 inch thick slices (about 4 cups)
12 oz. medium parsnips (about 4), cut on slight diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground lamb
1 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
2 – 14 1/2 oz. cans of diced tomatoes in juice (or 1 – 28 oz can)
1 lb. penne
1/2 C. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese
1. Heat oil in large skillet (one that has a tight fitting lid for later on) over medium-high heat. Add onion and parsnips and sauté until slightly softened and deep golden brown around edges, about 7-9 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute.
2. Add lamb and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon, about 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Add tomatoes with juice; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until parsnips are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Again, season with salt and pepper, but do not go overboard because feta will add a nice saltiness later.
4. While mixture is simmering, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender and al dente. Drain, reserving 1 C. of pasta water. TIP: put a measuring cup in your colander to remind you to reserve some pasta water.
5. Transfer drained pasta into a large serving bowl. Add lamb mixture, toss and add pasta water if it needs additional moisture. Add parsley and feta and give it a final mix. Taste for seasoning.