A delicious dish of hot orecchiette pasta with broccolini and meatballs

Orecchiette Pasta with Broccolini and Meatballs

I started making this dish shortly after we learned about our little ones’ rare syndrome. This orecchiette pasta is the perfect combination of speedy prep, full comfort flavour and fancy presentation.

We don’t really have the luxury of heading to all the fab Italian eateries our city has to offer. But when this is on the menu, it feels like a date, even though it’s just us and our messy kitchen table. (or couch, who am I kidding).

ingredients for Lactose-free Orecchiette with Broccolini and MeatballsLactose-free with a creamy taste

Yep – lactose-free. The only diary in the recipe is the parmesan cheese. It’s considered to be a lactose-free cheese option. But, it gets added at the end, so you can choose to leave it off without losing (too much) of the yummy flavour.

Need an even easier recipe?

If you don’t feel like touching meat, or you just want to cut the prep time down to lightening speed, here’s a great tip. You can use frozen meatballs. Follow the pan fry directions then blot with paper towel and add them back into the pan as directed.


Orecchiette Pasta with Broccolini and Meatballs

A delicious dish of hot orecchiette pasta with broccolini and meatballs
  • Author: melanie


1 tsp Kosher salt
12 ounces orecchiette pasta
2 bunches broccolini, cut into bite-size pieces
8 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 large egg
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)


Bring large pot of water to a boil with 1/2 the kosher salt.

Meanwhile, roll the sausage meat into about 20 small meatballs.

Add the orecchiette and cook as directed, adding the cut broccolini in the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Reserve 1 cup cooking water.

Drain the pasta and broccolini.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned, turning occasional until cooked through – about 7-8 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the pan and pour off any drippings from the skillet.

Add the remaining olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Cook over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Return the meatballs to the pan and add the pasta and broccolini.

Whisk the egg with the reserved cooking water in a small bowl.

Add to the skillet and stir until the sauce thickens slightly.

Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the pasta among bowls.

Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of chili flakes to taste.

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