Anelloni with Spicy Lamb and Greens

This anelloni recipe from Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ and Sara Jenkins’ cookbook, The Four Seasons of Pasta, made...
Anelloni with Spicy Lamb Recipe

MIchael Harlan Turkell

This anelloni recipe from Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ and Sara Jenkins’ cookbook, The Four Seasons of Pasta, made with a warm spice mix of Moroccan harissa, oregano, cumin, and coriander, balances the flavors of the lamb and bitter greens. 

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, 2015.


  • 3/4  Pounds  lean ground lamb
  • 1 1/2  Tablespoon  dried Greek or Sicilian oregano
  • 1  Tablespoon  Aleppo pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1  Teaspoon  Moroccan harissa, or more to taste
  • 1  Teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  Teaspoon  ground coriander
  • garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4  Cup  flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  Tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4  Cup  heavy cream
  • bunch mustard greens, trimmed and sliced about an inch thick
  • 1  Pound  anelloni, or any other ribbed tubular shape
  • 1/4  Cup  toasted unflavored bread crumbs
  • 3  Tablespoons  freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or to taste


Mix the lamb in a bowl with the oregano, Aleppo pepper, harissa, cumin, coriander, garlic, and parsley, kneading to mix well. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Add the olive oil to a saucepan large enough to hold all the ingredients, including the pasta, and set over medium heat. Add the spicy lamb mixture and cook, sautéing and crumbling the lamb, until it has changed color. Do not let the lamb dry out until crisp and brown. Add the cream and, if necessary, a tablespoon or two of hot water; lower the heat to medium-low and let the liquid simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the sliced mustard greens and let them just wilt in the liquid in the pan.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and the pasta and cook, for 8 minutes, or until it is almost but not quite done.

If the meat gets too dry in the meantime, add a ladleful of pasta water to the saucepan.

When the pasta is almost done, drain (but not too thoroughly) and add to the meat and greens in the pan. Toss to combine and finish cooking, 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat.

Transfer the pasta to a warm serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with toasted bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table, if desired.

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.