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Orecchiette with Meat Sauce

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Orecchiette pasta with ground pork and lamb meat sauce.

I’ll bet you thought October was all about the pumpkin, right? Well, did you know that October is actually National Pasta Month? Yep. True story.

So, to honor one of my favorite ingredients of all time (i.e. pasta), I’m excited to share this Orecchiette with Meat Sauce with you. This recipe is super simple to make, and the flavors are just incredible.  The night I made this pasta for my family it was met some enthusiastic two thumbs from everyone there, including me 🙂

I’ve got another little tidbit of information for you…did you know that the word orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian? Yup. How cute is that? Orecchiette might be my favorite shape of pasta just for that reason. Those Italians…they’re so smart!
Little ears pasta with a deep, rich meat sauce of lamb and pork.
The meat sauce for this recipe is a combination of ground lamb and ground pork. Together they’re browned in a skillet along with some green pepper and onion. From there I added some tomato paste, beef broth, pasta water, Parmesan cheese and butter to finish. Spoon the meat sauce over the cooked pasta, stir to combine and serve with additional Parmesan cheese to finish.

Servings: 6-8          Prep Time: 15 minutes          Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 box or bag dried orecchiette pasta
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground lamb
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cups beef stock or broth (I used low sodium)
1 – 2 cups pasta cooking water (reserved from the cooked pasta)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus additional for garnish

-In a large stock pot, prepare the orecchiette according to the package directions, Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and keep warm.
-In a large skillet over medium/high heat brown the ground pork and lamb, stirring occasionally.
-Stir in the bell pepper, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
-Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the tomato paste, beef stock and 1 cup of the pasta water.
-Stir to combine. If you’d like a thinner sauce, add some additional reserved pasta water.
-Add the butter and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
-Add the meat sauce into the pan with the pasta and stir well to combine.
-Serve hot with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.


Little ears pasta is mixed with ground pork and lamb meat sauce, green pepper, onion and garlic.

Mmmmm. Orecchiette with Meat Sauce. Just the title itself is music to my ears…and taste buds. Which reminds me of these fun music lovers wine glasses I painted for a customer a couple of years ago. They’re a little something black and white… to hold your red! LOL

Piano Keys and Music Lovers hand painted wine glasses
Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Where food, art, and fun collide on a regular basis!
Until we eat again,


Angela {Mind Over Batter}

Thursday 16th of October 2014

Well. I heard rumors it was pasta month. The rumors are true. Thank you for confirming with this delicious pasta!!

Nutmeg Nanny

Wednesday 15th of October 2014

Orecchiette are one of my most favorite pasta shapes. They are so cute :) This meat sauce looks so hearty and delicious. Perfect for fall!


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

This recipe looks so warm and comforting! Perfect for pasta month. :)

Amanda Tynis

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

I love a good meat sauce! And pasta! Sounds like my kind of dinner!

Karissa K.

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

I love orecchiette. They're like mini pasta bowls, hehe.