Lamb & Butternut Squash Pasta



5 cups fresh cubed butternut squash
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
8 ounces ground lamb
2 1/2 cups onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
8 ounces pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup grated mozzarella

1) Preheat oven to 450.
2) Toss squash with 1.5 tbsp oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil, and transfer squash to baking sheet. Roast about 30 minutes until browned. Flip halfway through.
4) Heat remaining tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground lame and onions and saute for about 8 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne, and stir.
5) Stir in tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture thickens up, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to the pot, and add lamb mixture, half of the cilantro, and half of the cheese. Add reserved pasta water little by little until desired consistency.
7) Serve with remaining cilantro and cheese on top.



(Adapted from Bon Appetit.)


Ground Lamb Irish Stew


The boy isn’t a huge fan of giant meat chunks in stew, so I made an Irish stew using ground lamb instead. It was just as delicious, and much quicker since the ground pieces don’t take as long to cook!

1 lb ground lamb
2 cups carrots, chopped
1.5 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 lb new potatoes, quartered
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried marjoram
1/3 cup flour
1 cup Guinness
4 cups beef stock
1 fresh bay leaf (2 or 3 if dried)
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
kosher salt
fresh black pepper
fresh parsley, chopped

1) In a large soup pot, saute ground lamb on medium high heat until brown, about 8 minutes.
2) Using a slotted spoon remove lamb from pot and set aside.
3) Add carrots, onions, and potatoes to lamb drippings in pot and saute for 5 minutes.
4) Stir in tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram, and cook for 2 minutes.
5) Stir in flour, making sure it coats all the veggies, and cook for 3 more minutes.
6) Pour in beer to deglaze the pot.
7) Add stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire, and Dijon. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
8) Lower heat, cover, and cook until veggies are fork-tender. About 30 minutes.
9) Add lamb back to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
10) Serve with fresh parsley as a garnish.