Our Turmeric Reginetti shines wherever it’s used (how can you ignore those beautiful golden ruffles?!) but when combined with warm spices in this Moroccan-inspired dish, the pasta truly sparkles.
MAKES FOUR SERVINGS
For the toasted spice mix:
For the meatballs:
For the sauce:
First, toast the spices. Combine the coriander and black pepper in a small skillet, and place over low heat. Keep the pan moving and toast, until fragrant, 2 or 3 minutes. Transfer the spices to a mortar or spice grinder, and allow to cool, then grind until fine. Transfer to a small ramekin: this is your toasted spice mix.
Place a box grater on a plate and grate the small onion for the meatballs, reserving all liquid. In a large bowl, combine the grated onion and its liquid with the herbs, then add the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs. Gently mix thoroughly by hand. Roll into small meatballs, no bigger than a tablespoon, and place on a plate. This recipe makes about 30 meatballs.
In a large saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the meatballs, being careful not to crowd the pan, to sear. Work in batches if you need to. Brown the meatballs on one side, then turn and brown on the other side, about 3-5 minutes each side. As they finish browning, transfer to a plate, and set aside.
Once the meatballs are all seared, turn the heat down to medium low and let the pan cool down slightly. To make the sauce, add in the sliced onions and stir well to coat in the fat and scrape up the browned bits from the meatballs. Once the onions are soft, about 3-5 minutes, stir in the garlic. Let it become fragrant, about a minute, then stir in the remaining toasted spice mix, chilli, cumin, and saffron, if using. Bloom the spices for just a minute, then add in the crushed tomatoes and stir well to combine. Season with salt, then add the meatballs back to the pan along with the green olives and stir to cover with the sauce. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and lower the heat slightly. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Stir occasionally.
While the sauce is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the Turmeric Reginetti to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 2 tablespoons of pasta water before draining and add both the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the sauce.
Stir well, so the pasta is coated in sauce, then serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
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Chef's Note: While I used lamb, feel free to use any meat you like, but definitely stick with fresh herbs in the meatballs.