How did I spent my sunday afternoon??? Making Orecchiette Pasta! yeyeyeyeyyyyyy
Many years ago i totally felt in love with Puglia, for me one of the best italian regions for real food lovers, and one of their products i love more is definitely Orecchiette Pasta (also known as strascinati)! First time i’ve had it i felt a sort of “love at first sight feeling” something like “OMG this is exactly my kind of pasta”. Orecchiette Pasta, unlike other homemade pasta, which contains eggs (for me are a bit too heavy) are made just with flour (in Lecce they use spelt), semolina and water; but the semolina gives to the past a perfect firm bite, which is what i like most.
I’m so lucky because my mother-in-law is from Lecce (the most beautiful town of Puglia, also known as “the Florence of the south of Italy”) and she makes the best orecchiette ever! So last sunday i’ve spent the whole afternoon with her learning how to make it. It’s an ancient art (and every “Mamma” from Puglia knows how to make it) but in the same time it’s quite simple and if you buy a very good flour you can make a very special meal for your friends and family! When i make things like pasta and bread at home I really feel that cooking is a way to make Love edible, and it’s also the only way to save our culinary tradition and memories.
Ingredients (to make 8 portions)
– 300gr Spelt flour
– 200gr Semolina
– a cup of pleasantly warm-water
Mix well the two flours and slowly add the water in the middle while working with the flour with your fingers (and make it absorb all the water). After the dough is mixed it needs ten minutes of kneading (if it crumbles a bit just put some water in your hands and keep on working); after 10/12 min working, when you feel the dough quite soft and warm, shape it in a ball, cover it with a linen napkin and leave it there for 20/30 min.
And now start the fun…you can make the Orecchiette Pasta! Each “orecchietta” must be done one by one and in the meantime you keep the rest of the dough covered. So take a little piece of dough and make a sort of long string; then cut it little pieces (more or less 1 inch) and with the help of a knife and your index finger you literally drag the dough ’til when it becomes flat then you take the little piece of pasta on your thumb and turn the inside out, giving it the form of a little “ear”.
Put all the “orecchiette” on a cotton towel to dry (at least a couple of hours); you can cook it immediately or store it at least for a week. Remember always to cook it in a pan of abundant, vigorously boiling and salted water, and take it out when the pasta come up.
The best (and my fav sauce) for Orecchiette Pasta is turnip greens (or broccoli) and anchovies, with a bit of salted ricotta grated on the top, but are really good also with a simple tomato sauce or just a bit of olive oil, grated pecorino cheese and black pepper!
I suggest you to enjoy the results with a big table of friends #homamadelovemade