Category Archives: Beef and Lamb

Beef and Lamb Main Meal Pasta

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes

Big News!

A third roommate moved into our apartment this weekend.

It was kind of last minute, but I think it was a great decision.

He is really quiet, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and he really likes to just chill.

Meet Killian!

He is my new pal. I am fostering him for the holiday season until he finds a home.

How did I end up with this cute little fluff ball on my couch, you ask?

I volunteer for an incredible organization in LA that helps rescue dogs from the streets and shelters and bring them into loving homes. There is no organization headquarters, so all dogs are fostered in homes of various volunteers until they become adopted. I had been thinking about fostering for awhile, but I wanted to wait until I was more settled in after my move. Well, I finally decided to take one of these cuties in for the holiday season.

Killian is a poodle-terrier mix. He is playful, snuggly, loving and all around perfect.

I’m wondering if I’ll be able to give him back…

I’ve noticed that one of Killian’s favorite things to do is watch me in the kitchen.  This weekend there was a lot going on- my roommate’s birthday, a holiday party with friends, a potluck for work, etc. etc….and I cooked for each event. Needless to say, I was BUSY.

Killie (obvious nickname choice) just sits attentively and watches as onions are chopped, pots are stirred, and trays go in and out of the oven. He never gets in the way. I’m telling you…he’s PERFECT.

Killie was REALLY licking his chops on Sunday night when I made whole-wheat pasta with lamb and sweet potatoes.

(Which is kind of funny because we think he looks like a little Lamb….don’t you think?)

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

This dish was delicious and unusual for me. I love lamb, but I usually only ever have it in chop or shank form. Buying ground lamb was a great alternative to ground beef or ground turkey. Your can find it at your local Whole Foods.

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

The flavors are fabulous. This is a perfect, warm meal for a fall night — even a weeknight; it is more simple than you’d think!

Now excuse me, but I have a cute puppy I have to go spoil…


Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ¾inch pieces
  • 2.5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1lb ground lamb
  • 2.5 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/.5 cups canned crushed tomatoes (from a 28oz can)
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 12oz package whole-wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1.5 Tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then lay the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet in single row. Roast in the oven until edges begin to brown, flipping with a spatula every so often, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and the onions. Saute until the lamb browns on all sides and the onion softens, about 8 minutes. Break up the larger chunks of lamb as you saute. Next, add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne, stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Season with pepper to taste.
  3. Serve in large bowls with whole-wheat spaghetti on bottom, topped with the lamb and sweet potato mixture, and then a sprinkle of cilantro and parmesan.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit


Beef and Lamb Main Meal Pasta

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Travis and I had been eating chicken all week and I was so tired of it. Chicken Parmesan, grilled chicken, chicken stir fry, chicken quesadillas, chicken this, chicken that.

ENOUGH chicken. No more chicken!

We were both ready for a change. I had been craving spaghetti all week and neither of us had ever made meatballs before, so we decided it would be a perfect time to try. And let me tell you, they were delicious.

Spaghetti and Meatballs RecipeSpaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

The recipe is our own – we basically threw in whatever we thought would taste good. I encourage you to do the same: add more red pepper flakes for more spice, more garlic, less onion, some ketchup, etc. Have fun with it – I’m sure the outcome will be delicious.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

What makes these meatballs so delicious is that you simmer them in the sauce so that they absorb each other’s flavors.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

After simmering, scoop up a few meatballs and some of this delicious sauce and pour it over cooked spaghetti. Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan and you will have yourself a delicious dinner and even better leftovers for lunch the next day.


Spaghetti and Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
Meatball Ingredients:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small onion diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like the extra spice)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesean Cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • vegetable oil
  • olive oil
Sauce Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 can (24-28 oz) crushed tomatoes (slightly drained)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the meatballs:
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and combine lightly with a fork. Using your hands, form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. I ended up with about 14 meatballs.
  2. Heat equal amounts of the vegetable oil and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. In small batches (about 4 at a time) place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium, low heat. Turn the meatballs carefully with a spatula (try your best to make sure they do not break apart). Place browned meatballs on a plate lined with paper towels. Each batch should take about 10 minutes.
For the sauce:
  1. After all the meatballs are cooked, discard the oil from the pan, but do not clean in.
  2. Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook for one more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue until all of the liquid evaporates (this should take 3-4 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  3. Carefully, place the cooked meatballs into the sauce, cover and simmer on very low heat for at least 25 minutes. (In my opinion, the longer the better).
  4. Serve the meatballs and sauce over spaghetti of your choice (I used whole wheat) with freshly grated Parmesan.


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