Getting my Van Gogh on

As I have posted before, I love making my own pasta. But usually I stick to one of my pasta machine’s two options, fettucine or angel hair. I have even dabbled in gnocchi which is handmade, but as far as other pasta shapes, I have not experiemented. So last night I made my own orecchiette. Orecchiette means ear in Italian, which might produce a negative connotation (eww you want to eat an ear Tara?) but it should not. The round bowl shape of this pasta is perfect for catching little bits of the delicious sauce you use. It is one of my favorite shapes of pasta and I often buy it from Sam’s Italian Deli in Fresno (this place is pretty much the only reason I didn’t dislike Lemoore so much). I have seen chef’s make it on TV and now I can say I made my own too!

I found a simple recipe from Dean and Deluca to make the orecchiette. I usually use egg based recipes so I was interested to try this version with just salt, flour and water. The dough was easy to work with and came together better than I expected. My only issue was that I cut my dough pieces a bit too large and the circles I made came out more like frisbees than ears once I boiled them, but still delicious nonetheless. Next time I would definitely cut the pieces even smaller and try to get them more uniform. In fact in hindsight I might even roll out a sheet of pasta dough and use a small cover to cut the circles out.

This was a time consuming project but well worth it when paired with this yummy Sausage and Cauliflower pasta recipe. My family tore it up and all got seconds. The dish was even better with the fresh pasta (the recipe did not call for this so don’t feel bad if you just grab a box of barilla) and the shape of the pasta was so fun. This recipe was from my food network magazine and it has one of my favorite ingredients, pecorino romano cheese, a staple in my fridge, this half Italian girl never buys parmesan, shocker! How do I get my kids to eat cauliflower? Well I tell them it is just white broccoli and they don’t even question me. Oh and the turkey sausage was surprisingly delicious and it cut the fat by more than half. There is no sauce in this recipe but if you save the pasta water like it asks and also toss it with olive oil, I found it to be moist and delicious.

Start to finish, the orecchiette took me about 3 hours to make, this includes time to sit and dry and I think it would have been even better if I had let it dry further. I put it in the freezer towards the end to speed up the process. So even though I did not get an exact “ear” shape I was still pleased with the results and proud of myself for venturing out of my fettuicine comfort zone. Next stop homemade ziti or penne perhaps?

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One Response to “Getting my Van Gogh on”

  1. Coy Says:

    I know where you got that fish bowl!

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