April’s Sandy Spice, Kibbeh N.15, is an Armenian inspired mixture of parsley, garlic, and fragrant cumin. Perfect for seasoning grilled meats, searing vegetables or adding to beer batter then sprinkling over French fries for delicious fish and chips.
Orechiette with Spice Lamb and Carrot Puree
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
¼ cup Kibbeh N.15 spice blend, plus more for garnish
1 pound ground lamb
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cold water
2 cups carrot juice, preferably fresh
2 cups diced (1/4-inch) carrots
2 cups chopped carrots
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
cup labneh or Greek yogurt
½ cup chicken stock
1 pound orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
1. Make the sausage: In a bowl, combine the Kibbeh spice blend, lamb, 1½ teaspoons salt and the water. Mix with your hands until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Make the carrots: Place the carrot juice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the diced carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl. Add the chopped carrots to the juice and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Purée the carrots and juice in a blender or food processor and add the orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold the diced carrots into the carrot purée and keep warm.
3. Prepare the labneh: In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil into the Iabneh until creamy.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Mound the lamb in the center of a cold pan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the bottom of the lamb is crispy and a good crust has developed, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, break the meat into small pieces and continue cooking until the lamb is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, stir in the butter and simmer for 1 minute.
5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, and return the pasta to the pot over medium heat. Stir in the lamb, Pecorino-Romano and enough pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Fold in half of the carrot mixture.
6. Divide the pasta among plates and spoon some of the remaining carrot mixture and labneh over the top. Sprinkle with Kibbeh and serve.
Photography by Thomas Schauer.