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Whole-wheat Spaghetti with Lamb, Tomato, and Cumin Sauce

I liked the different smoky flavors of this pasta sauce and thought it was a nice change of pace from our usual Italian pasta sauce. Meanwhile, my boyfriend B liked this sauce but says he never tires of tomatoes with basil so I'll probably stick to our usual tomato sauce most of the time and save the ground lamb for making another household favorite, Shepherd's Pie.

I changed a bunch of the ingredients slightly to match what we had in the house. I didn't like whole wheat pasta the first time I tried it but I think its heartier, nuttier flavor would stand up well to this sauce.

I picked up this book at a cookbook exchange. What a great idea! For a $5 donation/fee, you got to drop off any old cookbooks you didn't want anymore and walk out with as many of the books and magazines that you wanted. Any books left over were to be donated to a non-profit used bookstore and coffee shop More Than Words that's run by teenagers.


small photo of the sauce over linguine





Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lamb, Tomato, and Cumin Sauce

A Middle Eastern version of the spaghetti with meat sauce we all know and love, this pasta should find a ready audience. It's good with macaroni or with plain spaghetti.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground lamb (only used 1/2 pound)
1 Tbsp ground cumin (used 3 Tbsp)
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in a thick puree (one 16-ounce can) (used one 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes)
1 3/4 tsp salt
3/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti (used regular linguine)
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint or parsley (used generous sprinkling of both dried mint and dried parsley, about 1 tsp each?)

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and then the lamb. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, tomatoes, and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce, pepper, and mint.

Variation: You can substitute 1 pound of ground beef for the ground lamb. Use the same procedure, but decrease the cumin to 1 1/2 tsp and use parsley rather than mint.

Wine Recommendation: The spiciness of the cumin, the earthiness of the whole-wheat spaghetti, and the gaminess of the lamb are best with a full-bodied, slightly rough red wine such as a Cotes-du-Rhone from the southern part of France.

This recipe is from the book: Quick From Scratch Pasta, from Food & Wine Books copyright 1996
Editor in Chief: Judith Hill
This book is nice. It included a full-page photo of every dish on the page opposite the recipe and gave a wine recommendation for each recipe.


bigger photo of the sauce over a bowl of linguine


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I thought you were married ? Is he your on the side Lover ? Confused I am ...

Re: Your boyfriend B ?

Nope...not married.

This looks absolutely delicious!

This sounds amazing & I LOOOOVE the idea of the cookbook exchange - so fun!

That cookbook exchange was brilliant. I'm hoping they'll do another one.

More yum!

Glad you are back! :)

At least I'm posting...haven't been reading my f-list still. not enough time!

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