What Is Orecchiette?

Orecchiette (said oh-reck-ee-ET-tay) is a selected sort of pasta from Italy’s southeastern area of Puglia (Apulia) that forms the heel of the Italian boot. The pasta is more or less the dimensions of small ears, subsequently the call “oreckichet”, which means “little ears.” Orecchiette is sold generally dried but is exceptional whilst sparkling; However, they need to be fashioned by using hand and are tough to make. In Puglia, this pasta is often served with a simple tomato sauce, but orecchiette also can be mixed with diffusion of ingredients and works well with chunky sauces.

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This small, round pasta is less than an inch throughout and is concave with a small dome form. The center is thinner than its rims, a feature that gives pasta an interesting, variegated texture: smooth inside the center and extremely chewy around the edges.

Making orecchiette at home will require a whole lot of exercise due to the fact getting to know the pasta shape calls for some revel in. Once the dough is rolled into finger-thick snakes, cut it into thumbnail-sized pieces as well as spread it out on a piece floor with a knife (reducing and spreading should be one movement). The pasta is then flipped with a flick of the thumb and joined together to shape the signature dome form. Thanks to the man or woman hand making, sparkling orecchiette has a more self-made appearance than simply-fired pasta.

Orecchiette can also be bought dried and bought with the aid of most major pasta brands. It is obtainable in each small and large-sized “ears”. Before buying, test the expiration date to make certain they’re nonetheless sparkling, as older orecchiette can be problematic to cook. This form of pasta is not especially costly, its fee is similar to that of more familiar shapes. It is regularly served with broccoli rabe (orecchiette con site de rapa) and Italian sausage and crowned with Parmesan or comparable cheese. It also pairs properly with different heavy sauces made from meat and different vegetables, inclusive of asparagus and peas.

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How To Cook Orecchiette

To prepare dinner each sparkling and dried orecchiette, bring water to a boil in a big pot and add a pinch of salt. For sparkling pasta, upload the orecchiette and stir it. The time it takes to boil clean orecchiette will rely upon how dry the pasta is. It is executed while the pasta has risen to the pinnacle, which may be executed in 5 to seven minutes. Dried orecchiette needs to be delivered to boiling, salted water, and left to prepare dinner for nine to twelve minutes, shortening the cooking time to end up an al dente pasta. Read the packaging for the pasta for more specific cooking instances. Once cooked, drain each clean and dried orecchiette and right away pinnacle with sauce.


The most common form of orecchiette is made from durum wheat semolina. In a few instances, whole wheat types are to be had, which take longer to ripen and are more common in dried shape. Sometimes natural orchestras also can be located. Although no longer as famous, clean orecchiette can be discovered in some distinctiveness markets and Italian grocers and need to be loved as quickly as feasible. All varieties are to be had online.

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Although orecchiette is a unique shape, there are other kinds of pasta that it will suffice as a substitute. The cup-like shape of the orecchiette permits sauces and vegetables or meat to paste and stick to the pasta, so choosing something that will act further is right. Penne (preferably the meze range that is smaller), farfalle (botties), and fusilli (corkscrews) are proper selections, in addition to conchiglie, which might be small balls.

Orecchiette Recipes

Orecchiette is often served in Puglia in a simple tomato sauce or with small meatballs. This pasta also works nicely with greens (mainly broccoli and broccoli rabe) or any form of chunky sauce. Try substituting it for penne inside the recipe underneath and topping it with asparagus, pancetta, bacon, and juicy tomatoes.

Orecchiette with Simple Tomato Sauce

Vegan Lemon Pasta with Pine Nuts and Broccoli

Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Cherry Tomatoes

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