Harissa Lamb Orecchiette With Mustard Greens

August 19, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Jessica Faria Food Stylist: Sam Seneviratne
  • Prep time 1 hour 28 minutes
  • Cook time 16 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Traditionally, orecchiette is served with sausage, rapini, and toasted garlic. Jay and I came up with this version of the dish, using harissa and lamb from the Middle Eastern market in our neighborhood. If you like, you can use ground beef or pork instead of lamb here.
Chandra Ram

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: After 8 Years of Marriage, I’m Teaching My Husband How to Cook. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Orecchiette
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup tepid water, plus more as needed as needed
  • Harissa Lamb & Mustard Greens
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound orecchiette, cooked
  • 1/3 cup cup chopped pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Orecchiette
  2. In a bowl, combine the AP and semolina flours and salt. Stir in the water until a dough forms, kneading it into the dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth, not sticky or dry. If the dough retains a few dry spots, sprinkle a little water on top and knead it in. Cover the dough and let it rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  3. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and dust it with semolina flour. Cut off a chunk of dough the size of your fist, leaving the remaining dough covered. Roll the dough into a log about half an inch in diameter. Cut the log into 1/4-inch pieces.
  4. Dust your work surface with semolina flour. Press your thumb into each piece of dough into the semolina, twisting it as you press to form a disc that is thinner in the center than on the edges. Pick up the disc and gently form it into a shallow cup around your thumb, then transfer it to the sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to keep the pieces separate so they do not stick together.
  5. If you aren’t cooking the orecchiette immediately, cover and refrigerate it on the sheet pans for up to 2 days, or freeze it on the sheet pan and then transfer it to a container; use within 2 months. Do not thaw the orecchiette before cooking it.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the orecchiette to the pot and simmer until they float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Cook for 1 more minute, until al dente. Remove the orecchiette from the pot with a strainer or slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Toss with olive oil.
  1. Harissa Lamb & Mustard Greens
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, then add the lamb, onion and salt and cook until the lamb is evenly browned and the onion softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat and stir in the harissa paste, orange zest, and tomato paste. Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a clean large sauté pan until shimmering. Add the mustard greens all at once; they will wilt down as they cook. Cook, using tongs to fold the greens over themselves as they cook, until the greens are wilted and are starting to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 1 minute.
  4. Portion the orecchiette into four bowls, then top with mustard greens and lamb. Sprinkle the pistachios and red pepper flakes on top and eat.

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1 Review

kaiheartfood August 30, 2021
Though I was sure this would be a quick and easy recipe, I was worried that making it with the green harissa paste I had on hand wouldn't work out, but it was delicious! I could see this joining the regular rotation.

Other modifications:
- used boxed orecchiette
- no mustard greens at the store, so I substituted lacinato kale
- instead of using a clean pan, added the kale to the lamb mixture after the harissa, zest, and paste had simmered a little and wilted it that way
- added a bit of pasta water to the lamb and kale after wilting and simmered it down to make it saucy
- skipped the pistachios because my partner isn't big on them, replaced the pepper flakes with aleppo pepper
- served with fresh grated parm, because that's how I eat everything