Baked orecchiette with lamb recipe from Matera. – The Pasta Venture

This tremendous easy baked orecchiette with lamb from Basilicata, Southern Italy, is likely one of the best pasta bakes ever! All you want is 5 essential elements and fewer than one hour to have this basic conventional lamb pasta bake on the desk. This can be a nice recipe for lamb lovers and so as to add to your Easter menu!

baked orecchiette with lamb reciipe

Orecchiette alla Materana.

Identified regionally as orecchiette alla Materana (Matera fashion orecchiette), this baked orecchiette recipe comes from the small metropolis of Matera within the Southern Italian area of Basilicata. Basilicata is one in every of Italy’s smallest and least populated areas positioned within the instep of the Italian boot between Puglia, Calabria, and Campania.

Baked orecchiette with lamb recipe from Matera.

Slightly data about Matera.

Though comparatively undiscovered by vacationers, Basilicata has a lot to supply, specifically the unique capital Matera, the place this lamb pasta recipe comes from. The centre of this historic metropolis is a World Heritage Web site. It is likely one of the oldest inhabited cities on the earth subsequent to Petra in Jordan.

Ingredients for orecchiette with lamb in white bowls.
Step 1 Collect the primary elements, lamb, tomato passata, mozzarella and pecorino.

Named European Capital of Tradition in 2019, Matera is known for its Sassi district containing homes carved out of stone. Due to its similarity to historic Center Japanese cities, Matera has been a location for quite a few motion pictures, together with Mel Gibson’s The Ardour of Christ. Scenes within the final James Bond film, A Time to Die, had been additionally made in Matera.

Sliced mozzarella in white bowl. Diced lamb in white bowl. Grated pecorino in white bowl and tomato passata in white bowl.
Step 2 Put together the elements.

Pasta in Basilicata.

In accordance with meals historical past, a few of the oldest information of pasta discuss with it being made in Basilicata. This area additionally has quite a few distinctive pasta shapes. Nonetheless, the preferred conventional pasta is orecchiette.

Diced lamb in skillet with olive oil.
Step 3 Brown the lamb in olive oil.

Many individuals consider orecchiette as being a pasta from Puglia (Apulia). However, components of Basilicata had been traditionally a part of neighbouring Puglia. Plus, each areas, together with the remainder of Southern Italy, had been dominated by the Bourbons for greater than a century (1734-1860), so it’s not stunning that orecchiette pasta additionally originated in Basilicata.

Tomato passata in skillet with browned lamb.
Step 4 Add the tomato passata to the lamb and simmer for quarter-hour. Season with salt and pepper.

The orecchiette on this recipe.

Historically this baked orecchiette with lamb is made with recent selfmade pasta. I usually make my very own orecchiette and you may try my selfmade orecchiette submit when you’d prefer to make your individual. For this recipe I used an uncommon, dried pasta referred to as orecchiette di grano arso.

Dried orecchiette made with burnt wheat flour.
Step 5 Cook dinner the pasta a bit lower than al dente.

What’s grano arso?

The title ‘grano arso’ interprets to ‘burnt wheat or grain’! Initially, peasants in Southern Italy collected kernels of wheat from fields that had been harvested after which burnt to clear the stubble that remained after the harvest.

Cooked orecchiette in skillet with lamb sauce.
Step 6 Drain the orecchiette pasta and add it to the lamb sauce.

This burnt wheat was then milled to supply a bitter, smoky and nutty flour. This custom is alleged to have originated in Puglia. There they used burnt wheat flour, blended with regular flour, to make bread, taralli, focaccia and pasta similar to orecchiette and cavatelli.

Cooked burnt wheat orecchiette mixed with lamb sauce in skillet.
Step 7 Combine the pasta and sauce collectively.

Right this moment, you’ll be able to nonetheless purchase flour or pasta di grano arso (pasta made with burnt wheat) in Puglia, however the wheat is toasted relatively than burnt! Burning fields is now not authorized. Apparently, regardless of its very humble origins, grano arso flour is now thought of a prized Italian flour selection. It’s additionally fairly costly and fashionable amongst native cooks.

A layer of orecchiette with lamb sauce in oval oven dish.
Step 8 Make a layer of orecchiette and lamb sauce within the backside of an oven dish.

I’ve seen burnt wheat flour and pasta on the market on-line from Italian meals websites and Amazon in USA and in UK. If you happen to resolve to make use of the flour to make your individual orecchiette di grano arso, the ratio is often 30% burnt wheat flour to 70% regular onerous wheat semolina flour (semola di grano duro). Grano arso could be very low in gluten and it’s tough to make pasta with it alone!

Slices of mozzarella and grated pecorino on top of orecchiette and lamb sauce in oval oven dish.
Step 9 Add mozzarella slices and grated pecorino on high of the pasta and sauce.

The lamb on this recipe.

As in a lot of Southern Italy, animal farming in Basilicata has lengthy been principally pigs, sheep and goats due to the mountainous terrain. Consequently, lamb is a well-liked meat utilized in many native recipes. This baked orecchiette dish requires floor or finely diced lamb. You should utilize both.

A second layer of orecchiette and lamb sauce in oval oven dish.
Step 10 Add one other layer of orecchiette with lamb sauce.

I used diced leg meat as floor lamb is tough to come back purchase right here in Northern Italy, the place dairy and beef cattle farming is extra frequent. In actual fact, there are only a few conventional Northern Italian dishes with lamb and it’s totally on the desk solely at Easter!

Different elements.

As I discussed originally of this submit, this baked orecchiette pasta with lamb has solely 5 essential elements. It’s surprisingly easy and comprises no garlic, onions, or herbs. Aside from the pasta and lamb, all you want is tomatoes or passata (tomato purée), mozzarella and pecorino. The seasoning is simply salt and pepper.

Slices of mozzarella and grated pecorino on top of second layer of pasta and sauce in oval oven dish.
Step 11 Prime the second layer of pasta and sauce with mozzarella and pecorino.

Though you could wish to add different elements, this unique model of orecchiette alla Materana is very easy to make and significantly scrumptious. I confessed I used to be tempted to incorporate at the very least some garlic or onion and possibly wine, however I’m glad I didn’t. I made a decision to go together with the unique genuine recipe and I’m positive you gained’t be disenchanted when you do the identical.

Ready baked orecchiette pasta with lamb in oval oven dish.
Step 12 Bake the orecchiette and lamb in a preheated oven (180°c /356°f) for about 20 minutes.

Making this baked orecchiette pasta with lamb.

This baked orecchiette with lamb is likely one of the quickest baked pasta recipes I do know. If the cooking steps are timed nicely, you’ll be able to have it on the desk in lower than an hour, particularly if you’re utilizing floor lamb. I used leg meat which needed to be lower from the bone and diced. I used the bone to make broth as I prefer to hold my kitchen as near zero waste as potential.

The meat sauce is solely browned lamb and tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. I used canned ‘polpa’ which is similar to chopped tomatoes. You may also use recent peeled sauce tomatoes like San Marzano, canned peeled tomatoes or simply passata.

Baked orecchiette with lamb alla Materana

Whereas making the sauce, I put the water on to boil for the pasta. Then I cooked the pasta a bit lower than al dente and added it to the prepared lamb sauce. The ultimate step is to layer orecchiette and sauce in an oven dish with mozzarella and pecorino and bake it till the highest is somewhat crispy. Straightforward proper?

What to do with leftovers!

I don’t prefer to freeze cooked pasta however many individuals do. Nonetheless, this dish has various cheese which doesn’t freeze nicely. You may hold leftovers sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days and reheat in a microwave or a extremely popular oven with somewhat extra grated pecorino on the highest.

Baked orecchiette with lamb recipe from Bailicata

Let me know what you suppose.

This can be a nice lamb recipe for Easter. You may serve it as a essential course or, as in Italy, a starter. If you happen to do do this baked orecchiette with lamb, I’d like to know what you consider it. Please write a remark right here on the weblog or submit a touch upon the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your suggestions means quite a bit to me!

Buon appetito!

Different lamb pasta recipes to attempt.

  1. Lamb lasagna
  2. Selfmade Sardinian malloreddus in lamb broth.
  3. Spinach gnocchi with lamb ragu.
  4. Sardinian fregola with lamb
  5. Pasta with lamb ragu Molisano.
Baked orecchiette pasta with lamb

Baked orecchiette with lamb alla Materana


This tremendous easy scrumptious conventional lamb pasta bake from Matera, Basilicata in Southern Italy has solely 5 essential elements and may be on the desk in lower than one hour. I made it with burnt wheat pasta (orecchiette di grano arso) however you should utilize regular recent or dried orecchiette or different quick pasta

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook dinner Time 45 minutes

Course Most important Course, starter

Delicacies Basilicata, Italian, Mediterranean, Southern Italian

Servings 4

Energy 880 kcal


  • 1 lb orecchiette (400g) recent or dried
  • 10.5 oz floor or diced lamb (300g) I used diced leg meat
  • 1 lb tomato passata (450g) or recent or canned peeled tomatoes
  • 10.5 oz recent mozzarella (300g) drained and lower into slices.
  • 3.5 oz Pecorino Romano grated
  • salt for pasta and to style
  • freshly floor black pepper. to style
  • 2-3 tbsp additional virgin olive oil.


Put together the elements.

  • If utilizing leg or shoulder meat, take away from the bone and cube into small items. If utilizing recent tomatoes, peel them by blanching in boiling water after which chop finely. Drain and slice the mozzarella.

End, bake and serve.

  • As soon as the pasta is cooked, save somewhat of the cooking water, drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Combine collectively nicely.

  • Make a layer of orecchiette and lamb sauce within the backside of an oven dish. Place items of mozzarella on high of the pasta and sprinkle generously with pecorino. Make a second layer of pasta and lamb sauce and repeat the layer of cheese. Relying on the dimensions of your oven dish, you can also make 2 or 3 layers.

  • Lastly bake the orecchiette with lamb in a preheated oven at 180°c (356°f) for about 20 minutes or till the highest begins to crisp and brown. Enable to relaxation for five minutes then serve.


In case your sauce appears dry you’ll be able to add extra tomato passata or a few of the pasta cooking water you saved. 
This recipe will also be made with different forms of quick pasta similar to cavatelli, penne and fusilli.
Maintain leftovers sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat within the oven or microwave. I don’t suggest freezing leftovers.

Key phrase baked pasta recipe, burnt wheat pasta, lamb ragu, orecchiette

Are you curious about studying find out how to make selfmade pasta and various kinds of gnocchi? Then try my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my buddies in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus when you’re there why not order a duplicate of one in every of my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some really useful pasta making instruments?

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