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Turkish Pasta with Bison Sauce
“Sweet aromatic spices, cilantro, mint and lemon marry well with bison in this delicious pasta sauce.”
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound ground bison
½ cup pomegranate juice
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 pound whole-wheat wide pasta, such as pappardelle or fettuccine
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style (see Note)
1Put a pot of water on to boil.
2Heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in paprika, coriander, salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are well coated and the spices are fragrant, about 45 seconds.
3Increase the heat to medium-high and add bison. Cook, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 6 minutes. Add pomegranate juice and scrape up any browned bits. Stir in tomatoes and juice, ¾ cup cilantro, mint and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, maintaining a gentle simmer and stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add a little water if the sauce gets too thick; if it's too thin, increase the heat and boil for a few minutes. Season with more pepper and lemon juice, if desired.
4Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and divide the pasta among 8 shallow bowls. Spoon the sauce over the noodles and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of the remaining cilantro.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce (Steps 2-3) for up to 3 days. Reheat on low; thin the sauce with a little water if desired.
Note: Greek-style yogurt is made by removing the whey from cultured milk, which gives the yogurt an extra-thick and creamy texture. Look for it with other yogurt in large supermarkets.