Spring Orecchiette with Lamb, Mint, and English Peas
- 2 cups orecchiette pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- ¼ cup chopped green onion, plus more for garnish
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ pound ground lamb
- ⅓ cup shelled English peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook orecchiette at a boil until al dente, 9 to 12 minutes; reserve 1½ cups of the water before draining.
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Stir yellow onion, green onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes together in the pan; sauté until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Break lamb into small chunks and add to the pan. Use a spoon to break chunks into smaller pieces and spread evenly around pan. Cook lamb with vegetables, stirring constantly, until completely browned, about 5 minutes..
- Stir pasta, peas, lemon juice, mint, lemon zest, and cooked pasta with the lamb; add ½ to 1 cup of the reserved pasta water to the lamb mixture and stir well to incorporate. Add more water, as desired, until you have your preferred texture.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir lemon juice and butter with the pasta until the butter melts entirely. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Pour pasta into a serving bowl; garnish with additional green onion and mint. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
What others are saying
Jessica Scott says:
Super delicious pasta! It reminded me of a dish that my parents used to make when I was a kid. I love orecchiette pasta, but it can sometimes be hard to find. Rigatoni or another similar pasta makes a great substitute.
Greg Jones says:
I really enjoy eating lamb, so trying it in this pasta was really exciting for me. Orecchiette is a nice, hearty pasta, so it paired nicely with the meat and veggies.
Elissa Helfers says:
My husband grew up in Australia and he is a lamb fanatic so I try to find new recipes to use with lamb. He absolutely loves this dish and so do I!
DC Cote says:
I made this with ground beef and shells because I couldn't find orecchiette. The peas are perfect for spring, it was really good. Next time I might try it with chopped asparagus too.
Jordan Clark says:
I used mint from my own garden for the first time this spring and it was so fresh and fragrant. If you're entertaining at all this summer, make this pasta! Your guests will love it.
Rachel Douglas says:
I used ground turkey instead of lamb. The orecchiette is my favorite, they're fantastic. I usually only ever use this type of pasta when I have a heavy thick sauce, but they work for this recipe too.