Saturday, July 3, 2010


This type of hand-made pasta is denser than gnocchi, and not made from potato. The indentation made in each piece, as with gnocchi, ensures even cooking and makes them look like little ears.


1 C semolina flour
2 C unbleached flour
1/4 t salt
3/4 C lukewarm water


Combine the semolina, unbleached flour and salt, and mound it a bowl and pour in 3 - 4 Tbls. water. Mix until the flour has absorbed as much water as possible without becoming hard or dry - not at all sticky. Knead vigorously until the dough is smooth and elastic. This may take 20 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and cover.

To make the 'little ears', pull off a handful of the dough (keep the rest of the dough covered). On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut the rope into slices no more than 1/8 inch thick to form small circles of dough. Now put one of these circles into the cupped palm of your hand and, with the thumb of the other hand, press and turn the circle at the same time to form a dent in the center that will spread the dough a little on each side. It should look like a small ear, with slightly thicker ear lobes. Repeat with all of the remaining dough, placing the orecchiette on a lightly floured cloth as they are made.

The orecchiette are cooked in the same manner as fresh flour and egg pasta, although they take longer. Watch them carefully and taste frequently for doneness.

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