Carmelo’s simple and traditional way of creating Puglian orecchiette, or ‘little ears’. Orecchiette go deliciously with light sauces like sausage ragus or vegetable-based sauces like broccoli or cime di rapa. This recipe comes from our limited edition Pasta della Puglia Masterclass, but you can join us for a regular Pasta Masterclass at any time of year to have your own pasta experience.

  • 200g durum wheat flour, or fine semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100mL warm water

How to make

Step 1

Pile the flour on to a clean surface and make a well in the middle.

Step 2

Gradually add the warm water, using a fork to bring the flour in from the outside until it forms a dough.

Step 3

Knead on a flour-dusted surface, switching between fast and slow kneading, for 10 minutes, or until smooth and firm.

Step 4

Cut the dough into four so you can work with it a quarter at a time. Cover the rest with a clean damp tea towel while you work, to stop it drying out.

Step 5

Roll your first quarter into a long sausage shape about 1cm in diameter, then cut it into 1cm nuggets. Keep your surface well dusted with flour.

Step 6

Rolling method #1:

Starting at the edge furthest away from you, drag a blunt eating knife towards you over a nugget of dough, so it curls round and over the knife.

Gently pull the dough off the knife, push your thumb inside and turn it inside out. Repeat, and you’ll get it after a while.

Step 7

Rolling method #2:

Stick your thumb into the centre of a nugget (roll it into a ball first if you want to be more precise), rotate your thumb around to create a round disc, then pick the disc up and hold it between your thumb and forefinger, pulling it gently over your forefinger to make a similarly effective little ear.

Transfer to a floured tray as you go.

Step 8

Whichever method you choose, repeat with the remaining pasta, shaping and perfecting as you go until all your little ears are done.

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