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Orecchiette Pasta with Ground Lamb, Broccolini & Pecorino

Prep Time:
10 mins.
Cook Time:
25 mins.


 • 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 


  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Sprinkle in about 1/2 cup of the cheese and stir to combine well. 
  6. Serve the pasta in warm bowls with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese sprinkled over the top. 

Source: American Lamb Board