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Recipe

Basic Orecchiette Pasta

Brian Hagiwara

Servings: four.

This handmade pasta is delicious with the classic broccoli raab sauce, with an uncooked sauce of tomatoes and basil, or in a cream sauce with mussels and mint. The dough comes out best if you work the water in very slowly; don’t try to bring in too much flour at one time. Flour amounts are listed by weight (oz.) and by volume (cups); use either measurement.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. (1 cup) semolina flour
  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup warm water

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 330
      Fat Calories (kcal): 10
      Fat (g): 1
      Saturated Fat (g): 0
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
      Cholesterol (mg): 0
      Sodium (mg): 0
      Carbohydrates (g): 67
      Fiber (g): 3
      Protein (g): 10

Preparation

  • In a bowl, whisk the flours together well. Mound the flour on a work surface, make a deep well in the center, and pour 2 Tbs. of the water in the center. With two fingers, stir in a little flour from the walls of the well. When the water is absorbed and a paste has formed, repeat with more water until you have a soft but not sticky dough.

  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s smooth and supple, 7 to 8 minutes. If it crumbles during kneading, wet your hands to moisten the dough slightly. Cut off a golfball-size chunk of dough; cover the rest with plastic wrap. Roll the chunk into a cylinder about 1 inch in diameter. With a very sharp knife, slice the cylinder into disks about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Pick up a disk. If it’s squashed from cutting, squeeze it slightly between your thumb and index finger to return it to a circular shape. Put the disk in the palm of one hand and press down on it with the thumb of your other hand. Swivel your hand (not your thumb) twice to thin the center of the ear, leaving the rim a little thicker. If the dough sticks to your thumb, dip your thumb in a little flour as you work. Repeat with the rest of the dough. As you finish the disks, lay them on a clean dishtowel. When you’ve shaped an entire cylinder, sprinkle a little flour over the ears and repeat the process with a new chunk of dough.
  • If you’re not cooking the pasta immediately, spread the rounds out on floured baking sheets and leave them at room temperature at least overnight, or until they’re hard enough that you can’t slice them with a knife. (The time they take to dry depends on humidity and the moisture level in the dough itself.) Once the orecchiette are dry, transfer them to covered jars and store at room temperature. 

Make Ahead Tips

Dried orecchiette can be stored in airtight containers for up to two months.

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