I’ll call this one rustic, as it’s not the traditional shape of orecchiette pasta and I would use this style of pasta for pesto dishes or with pulses. The dip in the pasta shape scoops up the sauce nicely. They are of a thicker consistency, so have a lovely bite.
There are a few names for this style of pasta in various parts of Italy, and traditionally the method of achieving the shape is to place the dough onto your thumb and dragging a knife across it. This gives the look of orecchiette (pig’s ears). Personally, I like using a piece of wood with ridges as it gives further texture to the pasta.
In a clean bowl, add the dry ingredients,
Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the wet ingredients,
With your hand, slowly start incorporating the flour with the egg until it comes together,
Note: Using the grano tenero will make a more of a wet dough, though you need to ensure that when working it on a wooden board it's not so wet that it sticks. if it does, just dust with a little flour,
You will need to knead for around 10 minutes until the dough comes together, cover and leave to rest for around 30 minutes,
Cut the dough into 4 equal quarters, ensure you keep the dough you aren't using in clingfilm until you are ready,
Take one quarter and roll out into a sausage shape and then cut into small portions, around the size of a bean,
To shape, either use the traditional method by flattening the piece of dough between your fingers. Place the dough onto your thumb and using a knife scrap the dough back to form the shape,
Alternatively, as I have in this recipe, flatten the piece of dough and then use the back of something with ridges, place the dough onto the surface and use a roll method with your thumb to create the shape,
As you create the shape, place onto a floured plated until you are ready to cook,
In a pan of salted boiling water add a little oil and then the pasta,
Cook between 8 and 10 minutes dependant on the thickness of the pasta. Taste to ensure that you have the bite your prefer and there is enough salt,
Drain and serve up with your choice of sauce.