Lamb Pasta with Asparagus & Feta

This dish is a delightful combination of flavors and textures, with the lamb's flavorful fat toasting walnuts, crisping asparagus, and glossing pasta. Stirring feta through the warm pasta gives you soft puddles of salty cheese to stumble upon here and there. For more brightness, you could finish the dish with soft herbs, such as basil, mint, or dill. And when asparagus isn’t in season, use frozen peas (no need to thaw first), chopped dark leafy greens like kale or spinach, corn kernels, or halved cherry tomatoes.

What You'll Need

Before you start cooking, you'll need to gather your ingredients. This recipe is incredibly flexible, allowing you to substitute in-season ingredients as needed. Here's what you'll need:

  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces to 1 pound short pasta, such as mezze rigatoni or orecchiette
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound North 44 Farm ground lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced ½-inch thick
  • 4 ounces feta

How to Make Lamb Pasta with Asparagus & Feta

This recipe takes about 40 minutes to make and is easy enough for even novice chefs. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the ground lamb, then use a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to press the meat into a thin layer. Cook undisturbed until deeply browned underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the garlic, then break up the meat into bite-size pieces and stir until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the lamb to a bowl, leaving the juices and fat in the skillet.
  3. Add the walnuts and stir over medium until fragrant and golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and stir until bright green and crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and crumble in the feta, holding back a little for garnish. Stir until the cheese starts to melt.
  4. Add the lamb, pasta and ¼ cup pasta water to the skillet. Cook and stir over medium-low until the pasta is well coated. Add dribbles of pasta water as needed until the sauce glosses the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then eat with the remaining feta crumbled on top.

This lamb pasta with asparagus and feta is a delicious and filling dish that is perfect for any time of the year. You can serve it as a main course or as a side dish, and it's sure to be a hit with your family and friends. So why not give it a try? Happy cooking!

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