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Linguine with Spiced Beef and Onion Sauce and Feta

4 Servings

45 minutes

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A ground-beef sauce seasoned with fragrant spices and generous amounts of onion and garlic is lightened with a good dose of mint at the end. Rather than sprinkle the feta as a garnish, we toss the just-cooked noodles with most of the cheese so that it melts and coats the strands. If you like, you could serve the sauce with warmed flatbread instead of on noodles.

4

Servings

Tip

Don't use ground beef fattier than 90 percent lean or the sauce will be greasy.

45 minutes

Reviews
Connie H.

I’d love to make this but my husband won’t eat feta. Do you think I could use mozzarella instead?

April D.

Connie - though grated mozzarella would also melt nicely, it won't contribute the salty/tangy quality that we love about feta in this recipe. A great substitute, if your husband likes it, would be a soft goat cheese, which has a similar creamy/crumbly texture and a brightness to balance out the rich flavors here. If that's a no-go, then go with mozzarella, but add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice, plus a sprinkle of lemon zest, to stand in for the feta's tartness.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Pamela T.

Could lamb be used instead of beef??

April D.

Pamela - this is a recipe where subbing in ground lamb instead of ground beef is an easy substitution. Go for it! Keep in mind that the fat content of ground lamb is quite variable. Compared to beef, lamb has less marbling within the meat: most of its fat is around the exterior, and is usually trimmed away before being ground, resulting in a slightly leaner ground meat than beef. If you are getting ground lamb from a butcher, just let them know that you are looking for about an 80/20 meat/fat ratio - comparable to ground beef - and they should be able to make it just right for you. Even if your lamb is a touch fattier or a little leaner than a lean ground beef, the recipe will still come out just fine.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

William W.

I made this with ground bison, and it came out great.

By the way, your comment about looking for an 80/20 meat/fat ratio contradicts the instructions at the top of the recipe ("Tip: Don't use ground beef fattier than 90 percent lean or the sauce will be greasy.").

Lynn C.

Hi William -

You're right. We almost always call for 80/20 ground beef, so I think April just missed the note that we actually call for 90/10 in this recipe. As she mentioned, ground lamb can be quite variable, though, so you may have to drain off some fat if the lamb you use happens to be fattier.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi William -

You're right. We almost always call for 80/20 ground beef, so I think April just missed the note that we actually call for 90/10 in this recipe. As she mentioned, ground lamb can be quite variable, though, so you may have to drain off some fat if the lamb you use happens to be fattier.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

William W.

I made this with ground bison, and it came out great.

By the way, your comment about looking for an 80/20 meat/fat ratio contradicts the instructions at the top of the recipe ("Tip: Don't use ground beef fattier than 90 percent lean or the sauce will be greasy.").

Lynn C.

Hi William -

You're right. We almost always call for 80/20 ground beef, so I think April just missed the note that we actually call for 90/10 in this recipe. As she mentioned, ground lamb can be quite variable, though, so you may have to drain off some fat if the lamb you use happens to be fattier.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi William -

You're right. We almost always call for 80/20 ground beef, so I think April just missed the note that we actually call for 90/10 in this recipe. As she mentioned, ground lamb can be quite variable, though, so you may have to drain off some fat if the lamb you use happens to be fattier.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Sona E.

This is excellent! It's so flavorful and very easy to make! I love the flavor that the spices impart to the sauce, and the mint adds another layer of flavor. The feta cheese provides just the right amount of flavor and saltiness.

Andrew K.

Recipe says to reserve a cup of pasta water but I don't see where it gets used. Thanks.

April D.

Andrew - you are right that we don't specifically call out a use for the reserved pasta water in this recipe. Even so, it's good practice to always reserve some pasta water before draining, so that if your pasta seems a little dry, or the sauce is not as creamy as you'd like, you have a warm, starchy liquid ready to thin it. In this recipe, you may find that a bit of pasta water stirred in together with the feta helps the cheese melt and coat the strands of pasta.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Carol R.

Liked this. Didn’t have fresh mint, used dried. Surprisingly good. It was a recipe my husband, who doesn’t cook, could make.

Karen H.

Just made this tonight. I only had a pound of ground beef, so it was a little saucier than it was meant to be, but we all loved it. I did use 85/15 ground beef (because that's what I had) and it didn't seem greasy. I recommend it, and will definitely make it again.


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