Okay, everyone, it has finally happened; The Pasta Bro and I have officially outdone ourselves with this recipe. This is a homemade pasta shape that ANYONE can make, no matter if it is your first time or your 100th time. This dish is inspired by the Apulia region of Italy where Ago and I spent a lot of time growing up. The shape of the pasta is called Orecchiette, which translates to ‘little ears’ which aptly describes the adorable rustic shape. The dough for this pasta is made with only room temperature water and semolina flour from Naples. There are no eggs at all, making the shape a wonderful option for vegans. You need absolutely no special equipment to make this, not even a rolling pin! Once the simple dough is kneaded for 10-15 minutes, it takes a nice rest and is shaped by hand and with the help of a standard butter knife. Now, once you have rolled out all of the Orecchiette you have two options; you can either let it air dry slightly for about one hour, or you can let it dry for several hours and store it for up to one month to use at a later date. Think of it as establishing your very own pasta factory at home! Plus, this is a wonderful project for the whole family to help with. Kids and grown-ups alike will love the soothing art of forming beautiful pasta shapes. Here’s how to make it!
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
½ pound cherry tomatoes
½ pound yellow grape tomatoes
1 lemon, juice and zest, divided
12 basil leaves
1 pound of orecchiette (recipe below)
Sea salt, to taste
1 ball of fresh burrata
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a medium skillet, add olive oil and garlic and set over a whisper of a flame (low heat), and let sizzle for 1 to 2 minutes. The garlic should start to become very fragrant as it infuses in the oil.
Add the tomatoes and half of the lemon juice and 4-5 basil leaves that have been torn by hand. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften and release their juices.
When the water reaches a boil, salt it so it tastes like a well-seasoned soup, then add the pasta and cook for about 4 minutes, or until it is very al dente. Reserve some of the pasta water, then drain the orecchiette and add to the pan with the tomatoes. Add a ladle or two of the pasta water and cook until the pasta is perfectly cooked and the sauce is creamy.
Finish the pasta in the pan (I’m using Stella here, learn more about this shining star below!) by garnishing it with the remaining basil, lemon zest, and burrata.