Orecchiette means small ears because of their shape and is the Pugliese pasta par excellence, particularly from the city of Bari. Only two ingredients for this homemade pasta: water and flour.
The flour is definitely durum wheat semolina flour.
Orecchiette calls for broccoli rabe, cime di rapa, as a traditional Apulian recipe : orecchiette-pasta-with-broccoli-rabe otherwise tomato sauce or the various ragù will do more than fine as well.
For those who have never made them, the first time can be a bit tricky but they will gradually get the hang of it and will enjoy and be happy with the outcome.
Serves 4, Preparation depends on one’s expertise, an hour or more
- 400 grams of remilled durum wheat flour
- 120 ml lukewarm water or more if needed
- salt, a pinch
Pour semolina’s flour onto the work surface, a pinch of salt, pouring lukewarm water a little at a time and start kneading the dough with your hands for about 10 minutes until you get a smooth ball-shaped dough.
Cover it with a damp cloth for 20 minutes.
On a lightly floured wooden board, take a piece of dough, knead it until it forms a long cylinder 1 centimetre thick, cut it into pieces of about 1 centimetre.
Place the rounded tip of a smooth-bladed knife on a piece of dough and drag it across the wooden board then turn it with your thumb, if necessary using the knife: in this way, you will have your orecchietta.
You will then notice that the outside will have some small wrinkles, perfect like this.
Proceed in this fashion until the end of the dough, once ready cover them with a cotton cloth and let them dry and rest overnight.
Fresh Orecchiette pasta cooks in boiling salted water for approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
If you do not consume them immediately and want to store them, put in the fridge for 6-7 days closed in an airtight container.