Allspice and cumin are not common in Italian recipes, but with lamb and eggplant (both essential ingredients in Palestinian, Israeli, Syrian, and Turkish cooking), these flavors are—at least to *this* Italian—becoming essential.


Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

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Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • In a small skillet over medium heat, or in a toaster oven, toast the pine nuts, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely chop.

  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the lamb. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf, orange zest, shallot, garlic, and spices. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, stock, and vermouth. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer while you cook the pasta.

  • Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  • Discard the bay leaf and orange zest from the sauce. Add the pasta, 1 cup Pecorino Romano, and the herbs. Toss until evenly incorporated; add pasta cooking water if the pasta is too dry.

  • Serve the pasta in shallow bowls. Top with the pine nuts, ricotta, and more grated cheese to mix into the pasta as it’s eaten.