(serves 4 | 1 hour | medium)
They’re one of the most satisfying shapes of pasta to eat, in my opinion, because you can scoop up whatever sauce you’ve made to go with them so perfectly! They’re also quite straightforward to make and freeze very well, meaning you can make a bigger batch and just boil them wherever you feel like having some again.
200g durum wheat flour (semola di grano duro rimacinata) – water (1 cup more or less. You might end up using more or less!)
- Place the flour in a bowl and start adding water, gradually. Every time you add water, mix the dough with a fork. When the dough starts to look clumpy start working it with your hands (still in the bowl or on a wooden surface if you prefer).
- Knead the dough with your hands until you have a smooth, compact ball. If it’s too wet, add more flour and if it’s too dry add more water.
- Place the dough under a cloth, or wrap it in clingfilm, let it rest for 30 minutes, allowing the gluten to form. Remove a chunk and roll it out to a width of roughly 1cm.
- Use a small knife (possibly with a round tip—a knife you eat with not cook with) to cut 1cm squares out of the dough you rolled. Then, place your knife at the top of the square and drag it down, towards you. Shaping them is the trickiest part, I recommend watching this video to see how to shape them. Once you’re dragged the pasta out, pop it through, using your index, to create the concave shape.
- Once you’ve formed all the orecchiette, bring a pot of water to boil and place a handful of rock salt. Throw in the orecchiette and cook them till they are al dente. If you’re cooking them as soon as you’ve shaped them, they’ll only need a few minutes. If cooking from frozen, they will probably require 10 to 15 minutes of boiling, just taste as you go!