Greek Lamb Pasta with Mint, Feta and Kefalograviera Cheese
Chef Dimitri Moshovitis
Cava Mezze in Washington, D.C. is a neighborhood Greek restaurant where chef Dimitri Moshovitis sometimes gives his own spins to classic dishes. Lamb is a menu staple, and here it goes into a meat sauce that’s spiced with coriander, fennel, cinnamon, cumin, rosemary and thyme. Fresh mint, feta and Greek kefalograviera cheese round out the dish. Kefalograviera has a nutty, salty flavor and firm texture, but if it’s difficult to source, you can substitute pecorino, asiago or aged gruyere.
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 carrots, finely diced
2 med. yellow onions, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
4 lb. ground lamb
4 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground fennel seeds
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cinnamon sticks
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2½ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 lb. pappardelle or fettucine
2 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Crumbled feta and kefalograviera cheese
1. In a large saucepot or deep skillet, heat 4 tablespoons oil. Add carrot, onion and celery; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add lamb, coriander, fennel, rosemary, thyme, cumin and cinnamon sticks; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat as needed.
3. Stir in tomato paste. Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and their liquid along with stock; bring to a boil. Cover partially; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well.
5. Add pasta to lamb meat sauce. Stir in butter and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss over low heat.
6. Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with mint, feta and kefalograviera.
Photograph courtesy of The American Lamb Board