This week we studied the region of Puglia. We made semolina orecchiette, or “little ears”, named because..well, they look like tiny ears and the Italian word for ear is orecchio. We prepared the orecchiette dough from semolina flour, a yellow-y durum wheat flour. Our Chef told us we needed to use super hot water to make this dough come together properly. The orecchiette was tossed with rapini, garlic, anchovy, and extra virgin olive oil. Delicious. Simple. Good food. Of course, the dish can be made with store-bought orecchiette as well. No need to burn your hands.
Orecchiette alla Pugliese
300 g Semolina, fine
100 ml Water, hot
200 g Rapini, or spinach, swiss chard
50 ml olive oil
4 anchovies, salted
50 g bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic – mashed
Salt & Pepper
1) Combine semolina and water – knead mixture into elastic dough. Wrap and rest the dough.
2) Break the dough in pieces and roll into strips. Cut into small pieces.
3) Press the pieces into oriecchiette shape by pinching the precut dough between thumb and forefinger to form ear shape. Let them dry in a single layer on a tray.
4) Cook the greens while cooking the pasta in the same water.
5) When cooked – strain both.
6) Saute garlic in olive oil until golden. Add anchovies and cook on very low heat until anchovies begin to break down and melt.
7) Toss the warm greens with the olive oil, garlic and anchovies. Toss with pasta. Add extra virgin olive oil and some extra starchy pasta cooking water if extra moisture is needed. Garnish with bread crumbs.