This dish is inspired by a recipe I’ve seen in a few Greek cookbooks and the recipe involves lamb (or goat), boiling the pasta in meat stock and the result is a meal that tastes way more complex than the ingredient list would lead you to believe.
The village of Anogeia is located over 700 metres atop of the north face of Mount Psiloritis. According to mythology, Zeus grew up here and in more recent times, it was burned by the Turks and then by the Germans, who during the War, as a reprisal for kidnapping a German general, rounded-up and shot all the men they could find in the village.
Stock-breeding is the main source of wealth here and if you fancy lamb or goat…this is the place to be. This dish has four main components; the lamb, the pasta, the stock and the herbs.
You can go the old school way and use a shoulder of lamb where you boil it to create your stock. Simply place a lamb shoulder in a stock pot and cover with enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer the lamb for about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about an hour. Skim the fat and discard. Strain your stock and reserve the meat.
Us Greeks usually have lamb stock on hand but a veal or beef stock works just as as well. If you’re really in a pinch, you could buy cans of low-sodium broth from your local grocer. Either way, boil the pasta in the stock…you’ll taste the difference!
For a nice presentation, I’ve used lamb chops which can be grilled, pan-seared on a skillet and finished in the oven or simply place the lamb chops under your broiler.
My marinade for grilled lamb chops works wonderfully for this dish and they will come-out tender each and every time.
The final components of this dish are the herbs and cheeses. The pasta gets tossed in an amalgam of fresh chopped sage, fresh mint and I’ve spiked the mixture with some Boukovo (dried red chillis) to give the dish a kick.
Some crumbled Feta cheese is added into the mix along with some pasta water to help transfer the herbs and spice throughout all the pasta. The dish is finished with some grated Kefalotyri cheese and a Greek bottle of red is fitting for this easy and very flavourful dish.
Anogeia Lamb With Macaronia
2 racks of lamb (or 1 kg of lamb shoulder)
salt and pepper
1 recipe of lamb marinade
500 gr. package of spaghetti
Approx. 8 cups of lamb (or veal or beef stock)
1/2 cupÂ of crumbled Feta cheese
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. of Boukovo (dry red chillis)
2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
3 Tbsp. of chopped fresh mint
2 Tsp. of lemon zest
4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (or equivalent in olive oil)
reserved lamb stock
grated Kefalotyri cheese (or Romano)
- Ensure your lamb chops have been marinating for 2-4 hours. Bring back to room temperature, season with salt and pepper and then grill for 3 minutes/side and reserve in a warm oven. If cooking indoors, you can pan-sear the the lamb chops in an oven-safe skillet and them finish off in an pre-heated 375F oven for 10 minutes. Again, reserve and keep warm.
- In the meantime, bring your lamb stock to a boil and then add your spaghetti. Bring back to a boil and cook to “al dente” as per the package instructions.
- In a bowl, add the crumbled Feta, chopped sage, chopped mint, Boukovo (chilli flakes), minced garlic and lemon zest. Stir to mix well and set aside.
- Just when your pasta is cooked to “al dente”, add the butter (or olive oil into a large skillet and transfer the boiled pasta into the skillet. Add the bowl with the Feta, sage and mint mixture and toss to coat.
- Add a ladle of stock and continue to toss to coat (add more stock if the sauce is too dry).
- Divide the pasta among four plates, divide and arrange your warm lamb chops over the pasta. Squeeze some lemon juice over each serving along with someÂ gratedÂ Kefalotyri cheese.
- Serve with a dry Greek wine, like a Pavlou P62 Xinomavro/Syrah.
NOTE: The remaining stock and lamb meat can be used to make Lamb Giouvetsi.
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