Orecchiette Pasta with Ground Lamb, Broccolini & Pecorino
• 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 pound orecchiette pasta
• 1 bunch broccolini (about 12 ounces), cut into 1” pieces
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
• 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and season it with 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook until almost tender but still a little underdone, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
- Add the broccolini to the pot and cook 3 minutes more, until the pasta is al dente and the broccolini is bright green and crisp-tender. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Add the lamb and break it up into small chunks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is browned and a little crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the pepper flakes (to taste), season with 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook about 1 minute longer.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and stir the pasta and broccolini into the pot with the lamb. Add the reserved cooking water and continue cooking about 1 to 2 minutes more, to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors.
- Sprinkle in about 1/2 cup of the cheese and stir to combine well.
- Serve the pasta in warm bowls with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese sprinkled over the top.
Source: American Lamb Board