Friday, January 18, 2013

Greek Skillet Lasagne Supper for These Cold Days


Who is whining about this brutally cold weather? I know I am not alone in wearing long undies and wool socks in my neck of the woods. This type of weather calls out for comfort foods that remind you of your childhood and warm you up from your toes to nose. My go-to meals in this weather are soups and pasta dishes. On Tuesday at about 5pm, my son asked me to make lasagna for dinner. Given that a proper lasagna takes a good hour to cook and I didn't have the ingredients in the house, I had to improvise.

Taking a look at my pantry and refrigerator, I formulated a plan. I dug out of my freezer a pound of ground lamb that I purchase this past Saturday at our family's first visit to the Sono Marketplace. Sono Marketplace is designed like an indoor European market with stalls to buy local foods, art, jewelery and crafts. I was pleased to find that they had a stall that sold grass-feed beef, pork and lamb from Percy Thomson Meadows. I love lamb and bought a couple pounds of their ground lamb thinking I would make lamb burgers. Instead, I decided to make a Greek-inspired skillet lasagna of sorts which showcased the beautifully tasty ground lamb. Ingredients:

1 lb ground lamb (you can substitute ground beef)

1 yellow onion chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, smashed then minced finely

2 T Italian Seasoning

1/4t ground cinnamon

1 28 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes, chopped

Half a bag of pre-washed baby spinach

3/4 cup of heavy cream or half and half

1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

1 lb dried pasta (I prefer radiatore pasta, but any tubular pasta will do, like penne)

Salt and pepper

In a large, deep skillet brown the lamb until cooked completely through. Set aside lamb and remove all but one tablespoon of the fat from cooking the lamb. Sautee the onions in the reserved fat along with the garlic, Italian seasoning, cinnamon and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and be careful not to scorch the garlic.

Return the cooked ground lamb to the skillet and add the entire can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Simmer for a good 15 minutes or so until the tomato juices have been reduce by half. Then add the spinach and cook until softened. Meanwhile, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Drain and set aside.

Place pasta on top of lamb and tomato mixture and stir the pasta into the sauce. Add the heavy cream and let simmer on low for 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Just prior to serving sprinkle the feta cheese on top of the pasta and add salt and pepper to taste.

For a dish like this, I would choose a hearty wine. If you want to go the Italian route, a Chianti would be a nice choice. However, I would probably choose a Malbec, Tempranillo or a Chateauneuf-de-Pape to really bring out the lamb-y goodness.

Full disclosure: The pic is not mine. My family gobbled up every single bit of this dish before I could snap a shot. Not a single bit of pasta or crumble of lamb left. Damn kids need to stop growing. This pic is via Flickrand looks almost identical to my magical meal.


  1. Wow! I have to try this, it sounds fantastic! Glad you enjoyed the lamb!

    Dana & Kenny

  2. Oooh, this sounds delicious! Thanks, Colleen.