Monday, August 10, 2009

Let Me Nibble on Your Little Ears

Orichette pasta is not something I've ever bought, much less made, but these turned out perfect. I used a straight semolina pasta without any AP flour and though my shaping skills might need some work, the pasta held together beautifully in the pot and made a perfect accompaniment to the chickpeas. I hadn't been terribly inspired of late, but I think this pasta will now be in regular rotation at our home. I guess with a bit of imagination they can look like ears.

The trick is to roll the dough into ropes, cut them into small pieces and then use your thumb to form the pasta. If you go too thin, it curls on the sides and ends up looking like shells. Too thick and you get dumplings. I must have had a bit of beginner's luck, as I had neither common problem.

I didn't have a recipe to work with so I improvised one.

You Will Need:

2 whole eggs
3 tablespoons ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cups semolina flour
AP flour for dusting

In a large bowl beat the eggs and water until light. Add the salt and olive oil and mix well. Add the flour slowly until you have a stiff dough. Knead lightly for a few minutes until smooth. Cover with clingfilm and let rest twenty minutes.

Dust with AP flour and divide dough into two parts. Roll into ropes about the thickness of your index finger. Cut in 11/2 inch pieces. Using your thumb, flatten into a disk with a strong indentation in the centre. Cover a baking sheet generously with AP flour and toss the pastas as you make them. When all are done, transfer to a plastic bag and chill until needed.

Cook as you would any fresh pasta in a large pot of salted water. Mine took about fifteen minutes, but yours may vary depending on the thickness.

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