Moroccan Style Lamb Meatball Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This pasta is my new favorite! I love Moroccan-inspired meals and blending different meals with pasta is my go-to because it is easy, delicious, and pasta holds great in the fridge. This pasta made with spicy tomato sauce, lamb meatballs, and a ton of spices is so flavorful and made my kitchen smell like heaven.

lamb meatball pasta

This recipe is inspired by the Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato sauce seasoned with cumin, coriander, and other spices. I love Moroccan food and cooking with these flavors is always a joy for my senses.

How to make spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce and lamb meatballs?

It is so easy! The dish contains three components – pasta, the sauce, and the meatballs. I cook them all at one and the same time but if you are not a seasoned cook, don’t worry, take it to step by step.

Let’s start with the meatballs!

I like making the meat first because, for this particular meal, the meatballs take most of my time and attention for prep and less for cooking. For this lamb meatball and pasta recipe, you will need:

  • Ground Lamb
  • Egg – it holds everything together and fights the dry consistency of the lean lamb meat.
  • Cumin
  • Paprika – I almost always use sweet, but regular is fine as well. For this recipe, I don’t recommend smoked because it is pasta and you want to stay away from smoky flavors.
  • Fresh Parsley – I absolutely recommend using fresh but if you prefer dry, it’s cool – make sure to double down the measurement I give in the recipe below.
  • Coriander
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper – keep it low on these two because you will season well the pasta and sauce later.

Let’s put it together – I mix all the ingredients together with my hands. That way, I am able to feel any clusters of spices and make sure it is evenly incorporated in the meat. The last thing you want is a meatball heavily saturated with coriander or sweet paprika and another with just salt!

spaghetti and lamb meatballs

Moving on to the spicy tomato sauce!

This spicy tomato sauce recipe is super easy. The tomato sauce I used was store-bought but don’t worry, my friend Kate already checked my Bulgarian card and I am already working on one from scratch!

The goal is to make the sauce spicy with cayenne pepper so it combines well with the sweet paprika in the meatballs. Here are the ingredients:

  • Marjoram – if you can get your hands on Summer Savory (chubritsa) use that because it has a slightly stronger flavor.
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne pepper – as much as you can handle – don’t overdo it though.
  • Garlic Powder – I prefer using powder in sauces than fresh garlic because I don’t have to precook it and it is not going to leave chunky clusters.
  • Dried Basil – double to dose if you prefer fresh.
  • Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper – use just a pinch of salt because we are adding salt to the rest of the meal so be careful. You can always adjust at the end.

Grab a small saucepan, dump all ingredients in it and stir very well. Bring to boil then lower the heat all the way down and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir often. It might splash everywhere so put the cover on top but don’t close it.

Taste your sauce often. This is the main key for the lamb meatball pasta because it is the most flavorful and in the largest quantity.

And finally, the easiest part – the spaghetti!

I like buying regular spaghetti from the local grocery store but feel free to use any pasta you want. Follow the instructions and season with seasoning salt (gives extra flavor), lemon pepper, and olive oil.

It is important to note here that the seasoning salt goes into the boiling water so it can seep into the pasta. Start with a pinch and if it tastes bland at the end add more.

I use olive oil after I drain the pasta to prevent it from sticking. If you prefer using water that’s okay too.

Final notes

When all three components are ready, take the meatballs out of the oven and smother them with the sauce so they are covered all over.

Then transfer everything to the pot with the drained pasta and mix well. Always taste before serving so you can adjust the salt and the heat.

If you are making this for meal prep, keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. If you wish to freeze it pack it in an air-tight container and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to eat, take it out and thaw in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring midway through.

Pair this amazingly delicious pasta with bread – my honey butter rolls are perfect for this spicy recipe

Follow the recipe below and let me know in the comments how your spicy lamb meatballs and pasta came out! Enjoy!

Spicy Spaghetti with Lamb Meatballs

This flavorful, easy, and quick pasta recipe will warm your soul. It is always the crowd favorite, meal prep friendly, and perfect weeknigh dinner for the family!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Italian, Marrocan
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Pasta Strainer
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients
  

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 Lb Ground Lamb
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic minced
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley finely chopped
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • 2 Cups Traditional Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Marjoram
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Saghetti

  • 1 Package Spaghetti or your favorite pasta
  • 1/2 Tbsp Seasoning Salt such as Lawry's
  • 2 Tsp Lemon Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions
 

Make the Meatballs:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • In a large bowl combine lamb, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, sweet paprika, salt, black pepper, and egg.
  • Using your hans, mix very well until everything is incorporated evenly. Watch out for clusters of spices.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil. Form small balls and place them on the baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Make the pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with the seasoning salt. Once the water is boiling add the spaghetti and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes. Or simply follow the instructions on the package.
  • Once the pasta is done cooking, drain, and season with the lemon pepper and olive oil. Keep covered until the sauce and meatballs are ready.

Make the Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • In a small saucepan combine the tomato sauce, marjoram, oregano, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir very well and bring to boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 mintes.
  • When the meatballs are ready take them out of the oven and add them to the sauce and swirl them around so they get covered in sauce all over. Then transfer to the pasta pot. Add the rest of the sauce and mix until the pasta is covered in sauce evenly.
  • Transfer to a place and sprinkle fresh basil or parmesan cheese.

Notes

Marjoram – if you can’t get your hands on some, use oregano, or summer savory (chubritsa)
  – I use the egg just to give a slightly softer texture to the meatballs but you can skip it if you want. Just keep in mind, the meatballs might come out on the dry side if you do.  
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