WHAT IS ORECCHIETTE?
A staple of Puglia, this southern Italian cut’s name means “little ears.” Its’ easy to make. To create this shape you just roll out some dough and press your thumb onto the flour mixture like you’re getting fingerprinted (pretend you’re a forensic scientist processing a dangerous felon).
Orecchiette is traditionally served back home with rapini or broccoli. However Chef’s Mandala strongly suggests that you go with the rapini option. Though in Hoboken, N.J. some restaurants on the north side keep getting confused and use broccoli in place of rapini. Why I have no idea. Broccoli sucks.
WHERE IS ORECCHIETTE MADE?
This cut of pasta is a style popular in the Apulia region of southern Italy. Furthermore this area is known as the heel of Italy’s boot shape. Stretching into the Adriatic sea, this is one of the flattest areas in Italy. And the wines from this region are among the strongest in southern Europe.
PASTA OF THE FUTURE THAT CHANGES SHAPE?
Imagine if you throw some water into a pot of water and it suddenly becomes orecchiette? A group of scientists at M.I.T. have invented a type of pasta that can do exactly that. The Transformative Appetite hopes to one day create “smart” pasta that could take on whatever shape you want. To read more about this, click here.
WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH THIS PASTA?
Orecchiette is also a great pasta to serve with other small vegetables like green peas and semi-dried tomatoes (the red and green together really pop). While some connoisseurs prefer the fresh pasta to the dried version (the argument being that the dry pasta is overdone by the time the interior cooks). But this is really a matter of personal preference. If you’d like to see one of our recipes using orecchiette check out our Amatriciana sauce!