Orecchiette with Pesto alla Siciliana
We take you to two regions in Southern Italy bursting with great food traditions; Puglia, where the Orecchiette come from, and Sicily, for the Pesto ‘alla siciliana’. This meal is, as a matter of fact, a marriage between two strong and passionate food cultures. We suggest making your Orecchiette from scratch, by following our recipe with detailed procedures below. You won’t disappoint you!
For the dough
400 gr (2 2/3 cups) “durum wheat” flour. Always make sure you have 1 extra cup of it, you might need it to adjust the dough.
200 ml (7 fl.oz.) lukewarm water (4/5 cup)
Pinch of salt
In case you don’t prepare the dough, 350 gr (12.5 oz) of dry Orecchiette pasta is fine.
150 gr of Pesto ‘alla Siciliana’ (see our recipe here)
Pour the durum wheat flour in a bowl, add the lukewarm water, and start kneading to get to a soft and smooth dough. Wrap with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot in preparation for coking the pasta.
Sprinkle and spread some flour on the cutting board and take the dough previously stored in the refrigerator. Cut the dough to obtain 0.5-inch diameter round strips, then cut them in small pieces (approximately ¾ inches in length). Now, by using a knife, press and roll one piece of dough at a time toward you. When you reach the end of each piece of the dough, stop, and unfurl it over your thumb in the opposite direction to form a concave shape. Do this until exhaustion of the dough.
Now you can cook your orecchiette. Add salt to the boiling water and pour the orecchiette into it. Cook for 7 minutes then remove from the cooking water with the help of a colander or strainer. Add your orecchiette to a bowl in which you have poured the pesto ‘alla siciliana’. Add a half ladle of cooking water and mix to let the orecchiette absorb the sauce.
Serve by laying a ladle of orecchiette on a plate. Garnish with fresh basil, pine nuts and a drizzle of EVOO.
This dish pairs perfectly with a Vermentino DOP white wine!