Turkish-Style Lamb and Eggplant Pasta with Yogurt Sauce

Turkish-Style Lamb and Eggplant Pasta with Yogurt Sauce

My mother did Peace Corps in Turkey in the 1960’s and so everything T

urkish always reminds me of her.  She loved all of these ingredients, especially eggplant!  I loved the combination of these ingredients, and the yogurt sauce was delicious. Simple, easy meal that works for any weekday. 


Ingredients: 
·         1 large eggplant, about 1 pound, in 1/2 -inch cubes
·         5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
·         ½ teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, more to taste
·         3 garlic cloves, minced
·         1 large shallot or small onion, minced
·         1 pound ground lamb
·         ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
·         1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh mint or dill, more to taste
·         1 large tomato, chopped
·         ½ pound bowtie pasta
·         3 tablespoons unsalted butter, (up to 6)
·         ⅔ cup plain Greek yogurt
·         2-6 cups fresh spinach (I used 2 here, but would have used more)
·         1/2 lemon, juiced

·         Optional Toppings: Fresh herbs (parsley, dill, mint, etc), chopped roasted pistachios (recommend!) 
Directions

Heat oven to 500 degrees, and bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to the package. 

  1. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Let cook until it turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, remaining garlic, 1/2 lemon, juiced, and a pinch of salt.

Toss chopped eggplant with 4 tbsp oil and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until crispy and brown, about 15-20 minutes. 


Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add minced garlic and shallots and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add lamb, 1/2 tsp salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Saute until lamb is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in mint or dill, and fresh spinach, and cook for 2 more minutes until spinach is wilted. 


Stir in eggplant and adjust seasoning. 


When pasta all is prepared mix the lamb and eggplant mixture, and pasta. 

Top with yogurt sauce.  Sprinkle with additional dill, mint and/or red pepper. (I also added chopped roasted pistachos for texture.) Serve warm.   


Original Recipe: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018641-pasta-with-turkish-style-lamb-eggplant-and-yogurt-sauce  

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