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

This tremendous easy baked orecchiette with lamb from Basilicata, Southern Italy, is without doubt one of the best pasta bakes ever! All you want is 5 primary substances and fewer than one hour to have this traditional conventional lamb pasta bake on the desk. It is 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 model 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 situated 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, particularly 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 without doubt one of the oldest inhabited cities on the planet subsequent to Petra in Jordan.

Ingredients for orecchiette with lamb in white bowls.
Step 1 Collect the principle substances, 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 numerous 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 substances.

Pasta in Basilicata.

In accordance with meals historical past, a few of the oldest data of pasta check with it being made in Basilicata. This area additionally has numerous 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 shocking 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 contemporary home made pasta. I typically make my very own orecchiette and you may try my home made orecchiette put up if you happen to’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 Prepare dinner the pasta a bit lower than al dente.

What’s grano arso?

The identify ‘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, combined with regular flour, to make bread, taralli, focaccia and pasta corresponding 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 may nonetheless purchase flour or pasta di grano arso (pasta made with burnt wheat) in Puglia, however the wheat is toasted moderately than burnt! Burning fields is now not authorized. Apparently, regardless of its very humble origins, grano arso flour is now thought-about a prized Italian flour selection. It’s additionally fairly costly and in style 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. In case you 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 laborious wheat semolina flour (semola di grano duro). Grano arso could be very low in gluten and it’s troublesome 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 need to use 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 return purchase right here in Northern Italy, the place dairy and beef cattle farming is extra widespread. 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 substances.

As I discussed at first of this put up, this baked orecchiette pasta with lamb has solely 5 primary substances. It’s surprisingly easy and comprises no garlic, onions, or herbs. Other than 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 chances are you’ll wish to add different substances, this unique model of orecchiette alla Materana is really easy to make and critically scrumptious. I confessed I used to be tempted to incorporate a minimum of some garlic or onion and perhaps wine, however I’m glad I didn’t. I made a decision to go along with the unique genuine recipe and I’m certain you received’t be dissatisfied if you happen to 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 without doubt one of the quickest baked pasta recipes I do know. If the cooking steps are timed nicely, you may 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 reduce from the bone and diced. I used the bone to make broth as I prefer to maintain my kitchen as near zero waste as attainable.

The meat sauce is solely browned lamb and tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. I used canned ‘polpa’ which is similar to chopped tomatoes. It’s also possible to use contemporary 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 a bit 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 possibly can maintain leftovers sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days and reheat in a microwave or a very popular oven with a bit extra grated pecorino on the highest.

Baked orecchiette with lamb recipe from Bailicata

Let me know what you suppose.

It is a nice lamb recipe for Easter. You possibly can serve it as a primary course or, as in Italy, a starter. In case you 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 put up a touch upon the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your suggestions means so much 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 primary substances and could 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 contemporary or dried orecchiette or different brief pasta

Prep Time 10 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 45 minutes

Course Most important Course, starter

Delicacies Basilicata, Italian, Mediterranean, Southern Italian

Servings 4

Energy 880 kcal


  • 1 lb orecchiette (400g) contemporary or dried
  • 10.5 oz floor or diced lamb (300g) I used diced leg meat
  • 1 lb tomato passata (450g) or contemporary or canned peeled tomatoes
  • 10.5 oz contemporary mozzarella (300g) drained and reduce 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 substances.

  • If utilizing leg or shoulder meat, take away from the bone and cube into small items. If utilizing contemporary 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 a bit 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 may 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. Permit to relaxation for five minutes then serve.


In case your sauce appears dry you may add extra tomato passata or a few of the pasta cooking water you saved. 
This recipe can be made with different sorts of brief pasta corresponding to cavatelli, penne and fusilli.
Preserve leftovers sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat within the oven or microwave. I don’t advocate freezing leftovers.

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

Are you interested by studying find out how to make home made pasta and several types 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 replica of one in every of my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some really useful pasta making instruments?

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