Am I the only one gooped and gagged that carbs have made the comeback of a lifetime in quarantine?
It makes sense, I guess. It’s cheap, it’s filling, and more than anything.. comforting in a time of mass uncertainty while we watch the world burn/heal/etc. It’s fucking crazy, y’all. But you know what’s crazy.. good? Pasta. Fresh, homemade pasta.
I’m here to show you how quickly and easily this little culinary escape can be yours:
First things first : the dough. Personally, I use a simple 3/2 recipe and with a little practice, it’s fool proof.
3 cups flour – this can be 100% all purpose, 50/50 semolina and all purpose like I’ve done here, or 00 flour realness, etc. There’s food science blogs for that, right?
a tbsp or two of olive oil
a generous pinch of salt
Literally throw it all into a strong, large food processor and watch the magic unfold until a ball of dough forms. There’s a little finessing, of course – if the dough isn’t coming together, add a little water. If it’s too wet, a little flour. The best video that breaks down the art of simple pasta in my opinion is this one, so if you’re a little lost be sure to give it a watch.
Next up : bring back elementary art nostalgia and roll it into ropes
Whatever you do, don’t add more flour. It needs zero dusting, because if your dough can’t ‘grip’ onto the surface at all, you’re left with sad little loafs. Orecchiette cannot be made with those. I cut my dough into quarters and left the rest covered while I worked with each section in order to prevent drying – please refer to my VERY technical setup of a bistro cup over my counter. It’s not rocket science, babes!
So! Down to the most important part – the ‘roll’.
Take a butterknife and apply some pressure to your 3/4 inch(ish) long piece of dough with the side of the knife, and drag it across until you’ve reached the end.
Once you have your little pasta ‘shell’, you’re going to want to flip it inside out onto your thumb to mold it a little. Nothing too crazy, it should already be bent and curled mostly – but this is what gives orecchiette their signature dimple effect.
Pop it off your thumb and onto a baking sheet and voila – your first pasta baby is born! PS: Be sure to keep the texture from the knife intact – that’s what the sauce grabs to! (PPS: Highly recommend NOT following my lead and stacking them haphazardly. This nearly resulted in stuck together pasta disaster.. so you’re probably best off neatly placing them spaced apart. A pain, I know. But helpful!)
I won’t lie – after doing the full batch of dough my hand felt like it was about to break in a way that I haven’t experienced since writing full essays with wooden #2 pencils in school, but I think this is where practice and learned flare come into play. This is the video I used for reference, and it worked like a charm!
Now, the rest is up to you. We used these in a freshly ground pork and zucchini recipe I adapted from my new internet grandpa, Pasquale Sciarappa of OrsaraRecipes. He is the CUTEST and the exact ray of sunshine we need in these unheard of times. Honestly, if the only thing you take away from this blog post is to fall in love with his videos, I’m considering it a job well done.
Buon appetito, y’all!