If you love to make homemade pasta or are wanting to learn. Let me share a recipe you are going to love! These beautiful Handmade Orecchiette Pasta are a little time-consuming, but so worth it!
I first came across orecchiette while watching Pasta Grannies. Anyone else loves these videos? Anyway, it showed a woman from Bari Old Town who makes orecchiette on the street. Watching her work was fascinating and made me want to make it! If you are interested, let’s make this “little ears” pasta.
Why You Need To Make Orecchiette
Fresh pasta is always better than packaged pasta! There is also great satisfaction when you know you have made your meal from start to finish in your own kitchen. Plus, it’s always fun to learn a new cultural technique.
The only ingredients for this recipe are semolina flour, salt, and water. Semolina flour is made using durum grain. Durum is a sturdy grain, and perfect for kinds of pasta that are a little more rustic and meant to soak up sauces
Notes For Making Orecchiette
- You will have to find your own rhythm for making orecchiette. I heard this several times when I was learning to make orecchiette, but I didn’t know what that meant until I started making it on my own. I made two batches before I found a rhythm that worked for me.
- There are different tools that you can use to form your orecchiette pasta. In a lot of the videos, you will see that they used butter knives. The woman from the Pasta Grannys video, however, used a spackling knife. This gave me the idea to use my bench knife. That ended up being the technique that worked for me, but you can try different tools until you find one you like.
- Orecchiette only uses two ingredients, making it the perfect vegan pasta, there are no eggs in this pasta.
- This is a “slow food.” What I mean by that is this is a slower process to make this pasta, you’re forming a lot of little ears in this pasta. It will take a little bit of time to form the orecchiette, enjoy the process. Invite friends over to make it with you, don’t be stressed, and don’t be rushed.
- Make sure you let your dough for about 15-20 minutes before shaping.
Technique For Shaping The Handmade Orecchiette Pasta
As noted above, you will have to find your own rhythm, but let me give you the basic technique.
- After you have kneaded your dough until it is nice and smooth, cover it and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Roll out a log that is about half an inch thick and keep the rest of the dough covered while you work on this section.
- Cut off little squares of the pasta about half an inch. Press down hard and pull the knife or spatula towards you. The dough will roll and start to curve over itself.
- Using your finger, turn the dough inside out. Most people recommended using their thumb, but I found forming it over my ring finger worked the best. You will see this in the video I am showing.
- You can dry the pasta or you can even use it right away.
FAQ For Making Orecchiette
Yes, you can also make this with all-purpose flour or even bread flour. However, I prefer the semolina flour if it’s available to you.
This pasta holds well for months. Make sure you dry it completely before storing.
You really can make any type of dish with this pasta, but it is made to hold sauce in it, so generally people use red sauces, vegetable sauces, a meat Ragu, or you could even try a pesto or something like that. But again, you can use any type of dish you like.
When you add the pasta to boiling water, it generally will only take about 2-3 minutes to cook completely. You don’t want it to become to mushy, so be sure to only cook it to al dente.
- Whole wheat homemade pasta
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- Barley butternut and beet salad
- Italian vegetable salad
- Farro asparagus salad
- Sprouted wheat bread
Handmade Orecchiette Pasta
- 2 cups semolina flour you can also use a blend of all-purpose and semolina, but I prefer 100% semolina
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2-3/4 cup warm water
- We are going old school here, meaning I will teach you how to do this by hand on the counter. Just know you can also do this with a food processor or even blender.
- Form a mound of flour on your surface, mix in salt. Nor create a well in the center of your pasta.
- Pou 1/2 cup water into the well, gradually mixing in the flour from the sides of the well until it is forming mostly incorporated.
- Now start to knead the dough. If it feels a little dry, add in more water. Add the water sparingly though. Knead and check.
- You want the dough to not be sticky, but also not too dry. It is happy medium that sometimes is only learned after a little trial and error. You will see what my dough looked like from the video in post.
- Once you have kneaded the dough for about 5-7 minutes, cover with saran wrap and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes.
- Now, cut off about a 10th of your dough and roll into a snake that is about 1/2-inch thick. Keep the rest of the dough covered while you work with this section.
- Sprinkle your surface with semolina.
- Start cutting the snake into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Here is where you will learn the rhythm of this pasta. Start with the one piece and a butter knife of bench knife. Scrape the knife over top of the pasta pulling it towards you.
- It should curl as you pull it towards you and flatten to a thin layer, curled.
- Take your thumb or finger and press the curl the opposite way over your finger. It will form a little cone with the edges curled over.
- Continue this method- yes, it will take awhile, until all the pasta is formed.
- Sprinkle the tops with a little more semolina.
- Cook the pasta right away in salted boiling water- it takes about 2-3 minutes to cook.
- Or let the pasta dry on a cooling rack until it is completely dry.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!