Today was market day in Lecce!
So I went to the market (the one where locals go) and met my producer friends who gave me their super sweet tomatoes, basil plants, dried oregano, broccoli rabe and delicious cacioricotta cheese.
Therefore, with all these beautiful ingredients I decide to make handmade orecchiette pasta, that is the most traditional pasta from Puglia, Italy.
Making orecchiette by hand is super relaxing and fun! Once you start making them, I promise you won’t be able to stop!
Watch this video to learn how to make orecchiette:
To make orecchiette for 4-6 people you need:
-400 grams durum wheat semolina
-water (as necessary) at room temperature
-flat teaspoon of sea salt
-a wooden board
For the durum wheat semolina, you should use the rimacinata (remilled) and not the coarse semolina. We also use whole durum wheat semolina or barley or farro flours.
Please do not use white al purpose flour!
Also, you don’t need any eggs, as we make orecchiette with water. The amount of water depends on the humidity in your kitchen and also on your flour. It is better to add water little by little as the dough should not become sticky, but elastic and smooth.
To make the orecchiette shape watch the video.
Once you make the orecchiette pasta, you can eat it right away or let it dry for several hours, if you prefer the al dente texture.
In Puglia we pair orecchiette pasta with a different sauce, depending on if we are in the Southern part of the region (Lecce or Salento area) or in the Ostuni, Bari area and Northern part of the region.
In Lecce, we pair orecchiette pasta with tomato sauce and grated cacioricotta cheese (sheep or goat cheese).
In the Northern part of the region, orecchiette pasta is paired with broccoli rabe, (cime di rapa) and anchovies.
Let me know if you make orecchiette pasta! They are really fun!
This video was made and edited by Andrew Jenner.