Comforting: Lamb and eggplant pasta16

Posted on June 25, 2009 by ChristieDinner Time, Travel Stories

[Lamb and eggplant pasta]

The first dinner I’ve cooked in Barcelona!

I thought I’d be making something uniquely Spanish for my first homemade dinner in Barcelona but I let the fresh ingredients at the market and meals I had in restaurants over the weekend determine the results.

There was also another first today – shopping alone at the local fresh market – and realising I need to know more Spanish words and phrases! Like, ‘I’ll have half a kilo’, ‘Can I try those olives?’, ’10 slices of jamon please’! It was a tad embarrassing to say the least and I’ll be rectifying it asap.

I couldn’t resist a large pile of glossy black eggplants (aubergines) and practically got pulled towards them like a magnet. They sat in a huge pyramid shape and glistened sexily – I swear one winked at me – so it got swiftly swept into my basket.

The super friendly woman at the lamb counter was mincing lamb fresh from a big chunk. How could I resist? She also taught me how to say ‘Un medio kilo’, or ‘Half a kilo’, for which I’m forever grateful.

And that brings me to why I decided to make this dish. On the weekend we went to Barcelonta which is a gorgeous beach-side neigbourhood because I’d been tipped off that the best seafood restaurants were to be found there. We did find one, more on that soon, and we ate a fabulous noodle paella, I had no idea they existed?

That afternoon on a quick trip to the supermarket for some basic supplies I passed the dried pasta aisle and saw the same pasta shape that was used in the paella. I think they call it Fideo and it’s like a thin version of bucatini in short lengths.

As usual, I was making things up as I went along while cooking, hence the addition of a splash of Rosé wine (I was drinking some), it’s not essential but what better excuse to buy a bottle and drink the rest?

It’s really warm in Barcelona and we’ve been cranking the air-con in our apartment and so could handle this warm and comforting dish even though it’s Summer time. Also, it’s a little nod to my mates back home who are rugged up by the heater.

What’s next?

We’re back to Japan for the next post! See you then :)

Happy cooking, Christie x

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How to make Lamb and Eggplant pasta

RECIPE (Convert measurements here)
serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 medium eggplants, diced (about 3 cups)
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 fresh chilli, finely sliced
500g ground lamb
125ml rosé wine
400g can whole peeled tomatoes
large handful finely chopped flat leaf parsley
hot cooked pasta, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and eggplant. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions become translucent and the eggplant starts to brown around the edges and soften.

2. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the mince and break it up into small chunks with a wooden spoon, allowing it to brown evenly. Season generously with salt and cracked pepper.

3. Once the meat is fully cooked and slightly caramelised splash over the rosé and scrape all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan and incorporate into the sauce. When the wine is almost evaporated add the whole tomatoes, then put a splash of water into the can and swish it around and add to the pan.

4. Break up the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally until thickened. Check the seasoning. Throw in the parsley 2 minutes before the end of cooking and serve with hot cooked al dente pasta.

Want some more lamb recipes? Here you go:

Greek Lamb Skewers (GF)
Red wine lamb shanks w/ herb mash
Grilled lamb w/ eggplant and feta cous cous

  • Beautiful picture, great recipe and easy to put together. perfect.

  • how fun!

  • Mmmm…love the ingredients for this dish. Although frustrating, it can be fun making your way through a country trying to “wing” it! Just make sure you don’t get ripped off!

  • This looks wonderful! It’s funny, I’ve only started to like eggplants last year. I need to try this one!

  • how fun! I actually like shopping alone sometimes (even though I do it pretty much all the time…sigh)…

    anyway, great dish: love lamb!

  • Looks wonderful! That short pasta looks interesting – like a dish designed to be eatern by the spoonful. I bet the effort you went to get the ingredients to make this dish made the end result taste so much better and satisfying!

  • This looks delicious! And sounds like it would’ve been fun scouting the ingredients! So jealous of you basking in the sun in Spain!

  • Your lamb and eggplant pasta looks fantastic! I have eggplant growing in the backyard so it’s nice to find new ways to prepare it. The only thing is that I don’t eat too much lamb, so I’ll probably substitute for chicken or pork. Yum!

  • Yum! I’d love to try that short pasta. LOL at the sexy, glistening display of eggplants. It’s hard to resist sexy f&v! ;)

  • Lamb is everywhere! This looks delicious!!

  • it’s getting a little too hot for food like this now, but dang it looks good.

    i want to live in all the places you live.

  • Always looking for different ways to use lamb. I love egg plants too, this will be on the menu in the next week for sure!

  • I can understand why you couldn’t go past the eggplants. It’s awesome that the lady at the butcher taught you Spanish too!

  • zoe

    You had me at ‘lamb and eggplant.’ I love the short pasta too!

  • I want to eat this NOW. Delicious, and fabulous flavours!

  • It would be impossible to not a huge portion of this. The lamb sounds great.

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