Orecchiette Pasta with Ground Lamb, Broccolini, and Pecorino

This comforting pasta dish is made with American Ground Lamb, broccolini, and pecorino which is a hard Italian cheese made from sheep's milk.

Orecchiette Pasta with Ground Lamb, Broccolini, and Pecorino

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes

Serves

4 people

This comforting pasta dish is made with American Ground Lamb, broccolini, and pecorino which is a hard Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk.

Recipe and image courtesy of American Lamb Board.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs ground American Lamb
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lb orecchiette pasta
  • 1 bunch (about 12 ounces) broccolini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

  • 1 In a large pot, bring water to a boil; season with 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta; cook until almost tender but still a little underdone, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
  • 2 Add broccolini; cook 3 minutes more until pasta is al dente and broccolini is bright green and crisp-tender. Drain; reserve about 1/2 cup of cooking water.
  • 3 In a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add lamb, breaking it up into small chunks. Cook, stirring occasionally until lamb is deeply browned and a little crispy, about 10 minutes.
  • 4 Stir in garlic and pepper (to taste); add 1 teaspoon salt and cook about 1 minute longer.
  • 5 Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in pasta and broccolini. Add reserved cooking water; continue cooking about 1 to 2 minutes more, allowing pasta to absorb flavors.
  • 6 Sprinkle in about 1/2 cup cheese; stir to combine well.
  • 7 Serve pasta in warm bowls with remaining 1/4 cup cheese sprinkled over the top the salad. Serve immediately, with pita or crusty bread.

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