Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zia Maria's Orecchiette (Little Ears)

My zia (auntie) Maria taught me how to make this traditional Pugliese fresh pasta when I was staying with her in her small southern town of Zollino. You should see her little face when she asks 'Vediamo, sé ch'lhai la cappacita', as in, 'let's see if you can do it'; rolling out the pasta on your finger and getting it perfect is obviously seen as something only little nonnas and zias can do. After making it about four times now I have almost got it.

1 cup double O flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup tepid water

Combine flours with 1/2 water and salt. Slowly add more water while kneading; more or less water may be needed until dough is smooth. Let relax for 20 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch sptrips and again into small squares. Make ears by pressing down on a square and rolling with your finger, then turn inside out. Dust with semolina flour and boil in salted water until they float.

Serve it with pan steamed broccoletti, grated strong pecorino or parmigiano, and good olive oil.

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