How to Make Orecchiette Pasta
Orecchiette pasta are cute little morsels that require no special tools – just a good eye and some patience to get right! Furthermore, they resemble a small ear (which is where their name comes from) and are typical of one of my favourite southern regions in Italy, Apulia.
Moreover, this recipe will teach you how to make orecchiette from scratch using just two ingredients. They can be cooked up right away or left fresh in your pantry for a few months!
Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Orecchiette Pasta
Use high-quality semolina flour for the dough
Firstly, semolina flour is a hard wheat flour with a higher gluten content, making for a better pasta texture.
Add the water to the flour gradually
This will allow you to better control the consistency of the dough and prevent it from becoming too dry or too wet.
Knead the dough thoroughly
Lastly, the more you knead, the more gluten you develop, which will help the pasta hold its shape during cooking.
- Wooden bench
- Butter knife if making orrecchiette
- 300 ml Warm water 1.26 cups
- 500 grams Semolina flour 17.63 oz
- Orecchiette pasta are best made using semolina flour, so start with 500g/17.63oz for a portion of 4.
- Pour 500g/17.63oz semolina on a wooden bench, create a well, add water, a little bit at a time and mix into the semolina pinching the sides in, then mixing it through, to create a paste-like consistency.
- Repeat this until the semolina pasta dough for your orecchiette has completely absorbed the water.
- Start to knead the dough to bring it altogether and help improve the consistency.
- When kneading, press using the palm of your hand, toward the front, fold back then repeat this motion.
- Add more water if it feels too dry and keep kneading.
- If the orecchiette dough feels sticky, add another sprinkle of semolina flour and knead through.
- Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
- TO MAKE ORECCHIETTE:
- Cut a piece of the semolina pasta dough and roll it into a snake like shape.
- Cut this into small pillows (just like gnocchi!) with a sharp knife or pastry cutter, then using a butter knife, press down through the centre and gently roll it forward.
- Shape it around your finger pressing in the middle so it becomes wider.
- This will create the ear like pasta shape, known as orecchiette! OR
- Follow step one, but instead of cutting the orecchiette into smaller pieces, using a butter knife press down on the end of the snake, cut a piece off and continue to press and roll it towards yourself until the first edge comes back up, then flip it over – this will work too!
- This orecchiette can be used to make pasta to eat right away, or, leave it out for 72hr on a pizza tray or drying rack before storing in your pantry.
- E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
How to serve Orecchiette Pasta
Orecchiette pasta made fresh with semolina will take anywhere between 12-20minutes to cook, it all depends on how thick you make it, so taste it after approx. 12 minutes and check whether it needs more time. Additionally, there is no salt in this dough, so make sure you add salt to your water before boiling the pasta in it and serve with some delicious pesto or fresh pasta sauce – my favourite is Nonna’s fresh pesto!
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