Spicy Lamb Merquez Sausage with Bucatini Pasta
- 8 ounces Bucatini pasta (or substitute any pasta)
- 1 pound ground American lamb
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 4 large garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 bunch chopped parsley (or substitute half with mint leaves)
- Lemon zest
- Salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste
- Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil for pasta, and cook according to directions. Strain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, make the sausage. Place ground lamb, salt and spices in a medium bowl and mix well with a wet hand.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Using wet hands break lamb sausage apart, into roughly one inch pieces and drop into pan, browning on all sides, turning heat down if necessary. Test one to see if it’s cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, place cooked lamb on a paper towel-lined plate, blot and set aside.
- Wipe pan clean. Add another tablespoon of olive oil, return to medium heat and add garlic. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden and fragrant. Add pasta, sausage, roasted pepper, olives and a generous drizzle of olive oil, coating pasta well, so it doesn’t stick to pan. Warm through.
- Season with salt, pepper and some chili flakes if you like. Stir in fresh parsley right before serving. Taste, adjust salt and garnish with lemon zest. Divide among 4 bowls.
Source: American Lamb Board