Growing up with two grannies and three great grannies meant only one thing: we spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Making cakes, gnocchi, fresh pasta of course.
Orecchiette are from the south, there are different stories around the way they should be done, rolled, the size, eggs, no eggs. They are all delicious and we are in no position to argue with any of the recipes out there. But the one we've chosen for today's post, is a simple one.
Ingredients for 4 hungry people (best to clarify this in advance)
400g fine semolina flour
100ml water (to add slowly, as the flour demands)
Pinch of salt
Place the flour in a volcano shape, 2/3 of the water in the middle with a pinch of salt. With a circular motion, incorporate the flour to water. When it starts to crumble, use your hands. Add more water till you get a smooth and soft dough, it should take no longer than 7-10 minutes. Place in a plastic bag, no air, and let rest under a tea towel for 20 minutes.
To make the orecchiette: take a little bit of pasta , leave the rest in the plastic bag. Roll the dough between your palms till you get an even long strip of pasta no larger than 1cm in diameter. Place on your surface and cut with a sharp knife to 1cm width. Then the tricky part: roll your thumb on the pasta, left to right.
The idea is that the thumb rolls staying inside the hat of past it created.
Now, turn them inside out always using your thumb. This way the wrinkles will be on the outside, providing the shape and texture orecchiette are famous for.
Sauce to use? Well, orecchiette with cime di rapa or friarielli are super famous, but even with a simple basil tomato sauce they are going to be amazing.
Trust us on this.