Pesto Pasta with Lamb Meatballs

Joe’s best addition to FF

As if you all can’t already tell, I’m enduring a serious love affair with all things lamb. Sure, I always liked lamb chops – an appetizer at any wedding or event you can guarantee I’m chasing after – but recently, it’s been taken to whole new levels. By trying different cuts of lamb, my eyes have been opened to endless possibilities and I am so ecstatic about it and ready for this ride of all things Greek dishes. The other week, when I mentioned to Joe that we should work on clearing out our freezer that happens to be filled with different cuts of meats, he suggested lamb meatballs. Truly, I’ve never loved him more. Usually he is a “whatever you’re in the mood for” kinda guy, which, I always appreciate, but there are nights where I need direction and this was one of them. Fortunately, we happened to have the majority of the fixings needed for this dish in our fridge so it was a no-brainer. He was at first not into the idea of pesto pasta as the base, but I’d say his cleared plate and request for seconds was the real sign that he enjoyed the meal. If you’re intimidated by cooking lamb, this is the perfect dish to start with!

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Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Ground lamb (1lb)
  • Arugula (6 cups)
  • Cucumber (1)
  • Grape tomatoes (2 cups)
  • Feta (1 cup)
  • Pitted Kalamata olives (1/2 cup)
  • Pesto (1/3 cup)
  • Pasta (6 cups)
  • Ghee (2 teaspoons)
  • Cumin (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Za’atar spice (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and then add the pasta. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, until it the pasta is cooked. Once finished, strain, place back in the pot, and set aside
  2. While the pasta is cooking, combine the ground lamb, cumin, za’atar, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together
  3. Using your hands, form the mixture into small balls with a 1 inch diameter
  4. Heat a skillet with 1 teaspoon of ghee and, once melted, add the meatballs
  5. After ~5 minutes, once the meatballs have seared on one side, flip and sear each side for ~5 minutes
  6. Once the meatballs have seared on all sides, place the skillet into the oven at 425 degrees for an additional 10 minutes
  7. While the meatballs are cooking, peel the cucumber, cut into extremely small pieces and set aside
  8. Cut the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and chop the pitted Kalamata olives into small pieces and set both aside
  9. Crumble the feta and set aside
  10. Place the pesto in the pot with the pasta and stir to combine
  11. In a bowl combine the arugula and pasta as a split base and then top with the lamb meatballs, crumbled feta, and chopped olives, tomatoes, and cucumber

Allergen Information:

  • Gluten Free (use a GF pasta)
  • Dairy Free (omit feta)
  • Soy Free
  • Low FODMAP

Pesto Pasta w_ Lamb Meatballs

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