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John Gregory-Smith's spicy lamb pasta shells

Sometimes it’s good to treat yourself to a little bit of comfort food, and today John’s doing just that with his spicy lamb pasta. Delicious pasta shells, mixed with rich garlicky yogurt, served with crispy spiced lamb and chilli butter - it’s a little bit naughty, but very nice! 

Middle Eastern lamb pasta

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

320g lamb mince 

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp Turkish pepper flakes (or chilli flakes)

1 ½ tsp baharat

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

350g pasta shells

150g Greek yogurt

20g butter

15g toasted pine nuts

A handful of finely chopped parsley leaves

Salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until soft.

2. Crank the heat up to high and chuck the lamb into the pan. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes until everything is a little golden and a little crispy. 

3. Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 cloves of the garlic, 1 tsp of the Turkish pepper flakes or chilli flakes and all the Baharat. Mix well to release the flavours.

4. Add the tomato puree, tomatoes and 150ml of just boiled water into the pan. Mix well. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down into a thick sauce. Check the seasoning and add more salt to taste.

5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 10-12 minutes or according to packet instructions until al dente. Scoop out some of the pasta water with a heatproof jug and drain well. Return the pasta to the saucepan and add the yogurt, remaining garlic, 3 tbsp of the pasta water and a good pinch of salt. Mix until super creamy.

6. Chuck the butter in a small saucepan and melt over a medium-low heat. Add the remaining Turkish pepper flakes and a good pinch of salt. Swirl around so it goes all bubbly and then remove from the heat.

7. To serve, tip the pasta onto a serving plate and top with the lamb. Drizzle over the melted butter and scatter over the pine nuts and parsley. Grab your bowls and dive on in.

Weekdays 10am-12:30pm ITV