A few notes about some of the ingredients.
In the grocery, you will find sun-dried tomatoes in two forms — dried and soaked in oil. They may be whole or julienned. We prefer sun-dried tomatoes in oil because they last longer in the fridge and because the oil is so flavorful. If you can find sun-dried tomatoes in oil with herbs, so much the better.
Olives may be green or black, and they are either pitted (seeds removed) or not. They may also come pre-sliced, whole or halved. For more about olives, see the following.
The fruit of the olive tree has culinary uses other than as a source of oil. You find olives on pizza, pasta, canapes and even in cocktail drinks. They are sour and salty and slightly bitter.
Jars of capers are often located on the same aisle as olives. They are green irregular spheres, smaller than olives, soaked in brine or pickling solution.
Capers are buds of Capparis spinosa. The smaller the capers, the more pricey they are but they are preferred over large ones that often contain seeds. When brined or pickled, capers undergo an enzymatic reaction that gives them an intense flavor similar to black pepper or mustard.
As for the meat, ground lamb is used in this recipe. Lamb is fatty and gamey, and I know people who wouldn’t touch it. If you’re among them, you’re welcome to substitute ground chicken or turkey. Beef or pork (or even sausage meat) will work too but the cooking time will be a bit longer.
Lamb, lemon and garlic spaghetti
- 175 grams spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 200 grams ground lamb
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 generous pinch cayenne powder
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil drained and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sliced pitted black olives green is okay too
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- 1 tablespoon oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
- juice of one lemon
- chopped parsley to garnish
- grated Parmesan optional
- Cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente.
- While the pasta cooks, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in another pan.
- Add the ground lamb, garlic, dill, coriander and cayenne to the hot oil.
- Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is well browned.
- Meanwhile, drain the spaghetti and toss with the remaining extra virgin olive oil.
- To the lamb in the pan, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers and sun-dried tomato oil.
- Cook just until heated through.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the lamb. Toss to blend.
- Squeeze the lemon juice directly over the cooked dish and toss a few more times.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with hot toast.