I love shaped pastas. They’re usually on the thicker side, and … oh, I don’t know. There’s just something so fun about them! I like making my own pasta, but I wanted to try making something shaped, something you don’t need a pasta roller for. Folks, say hello to orecchiette, the ear shaped pasta! Although I think they look more like little seashells.
I got the recipe from The Blender. It rocks. SO much semolina flavor, and a really pleasantly thick & chewy (but not tough!) texture.
They also weren’t kidding when they said the dough needs to be stiff and not too moist. This first batch I made had a bit too much water in it, so they took a while to dry & were a bit more pliable than they should have been (some got indentations from the drying racks). The next batch I made with less water came out fantastically. But even the first batch yielded some happy results.
I was curious about how shaped fresh pasta would hold up when boiling it. Would it lose shape & just turn into dough plops? Turns out they keep their shape pretty well. And they really only needed about 2 minutes of cooking time! So fast!
After a few batted eye lashes, Albany John made me a stellar sauce for the pasta. Bacon, blue cheese, onion, and some greenery. So savory-licious! Toss in some cream & left over pasta water for a sauce.
If you’d like an easy way to make pasta at home, orecchiette is the way to go. All you need is all purpose flour, semolina flour, a little salt, and some water – that’s it! No eggs, dairy, or fat needed, and you just pinch off a bit and roll it over one of your fingers to shape it. And seriously, that semolina flavor is awesome. I picked up my semolina flour from the Co-Op for something like $0.65/lb.