Lamb and Eggplant with Chilies over Orzo
Expereince the warmth of a Greek kitchen with this spicy dish.
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 pound orzo or small penne rigate
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 small, firm eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 fresh chili peppers, such as red Fresno, Holland or jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces) or 2 cups passata or tomato puree
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup mixed fresh parsley and mint, finely chopped
- 1 cup feta crumbles
- 2 tablespoons butter
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the orzo (or penne) and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook until well browned, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Stir the eggplant, chilies, onion, garlic and rosemary into the lamb. Partially cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken (or beef) stock and wine. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and mint.
Toss the pasta with the feta and butter. Serve in bowls and make a well in the center. Spoon in the spicy lamb.