- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Pound orecchiette pasta
- 1 bunch broccolini (about 12 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 Pound ground lamb
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 3/4 Cups grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and season it with 1 tablespoon of the 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 ½ 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 deeply browned and a little crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the pepper flakes, add the remaining teaspoon of salt, and cook about 1 minute longer.
Reduce the 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 ½ cup of the cheese and stir to combine well. Serve the pasta in warm bowls with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese sprinkled over the top.