How to Make Orecchiette Pasta Dough

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 243,011
    Chef Todd Gray demonstrates how to make orecchiette, the ear-shaped pasta dough.

    Todd Gray: Hi, I am Todd Gray from Equinox Restaurant. We are making orecchiette, the ear-shaped pasta dough.

    We are going to start by adding our semolina flour to our mixer. We have two cups of semolina flour and while thats running, we will turn it on low. A quick pinch of salt and our warm water, slowly drizzling our warm water in, so our dough begins to form, a little bit at a time, the dough needs to absorb a little bit of the water. Two cups of the warm water to our two cups of semolina flour and a table spoon of salt. You can see now the dough has started to come together. It starts to pull away from the side we can increase the speed up to about at number 4 on our mixer and our dough is together.

    So we need to turn our dough on to cutting surface, continue kneading. What I like to do is with a little help of a little all purpose flour and a little additional semolina; just place this on our cutting board to prevent any sticking of the dough to our work surface. Just turn this dough on to our board and we will knead this gently just to bring it together. Just a couple of times with the back of your hand rotating in 90 degree motions and our dough is nice and smooth and should be silky with not to many pocket or holes in the dough. We need to wrap our dough, place in refrigerator for at least one hour or even overnight.

    So I have brought my dough out of the refrigerator. This one has been in the refrigerator overnight. Unwrap it, put a little semolina again and flour on to our cutting surface and with the knife we are going to cut into pieces with our hand we are going to take them and roll them into logs gently pulling them out working from center and pulling toward the ends using all of your fingers to help elongate the pasta dough and make it into an even cylindrical shape with the help of again a little more semolina and a touch of flour.

    Its often nice to take your knife and do the same when we are cutting as it will help prevent pasta dough from sticking to the knife. We take our knife and we will cut this in to small little quarter inch of piece rounds. That would be the beginning shape of the orecchiette pasta. You can put this up. Now with our thumb we are going to lightly flour our thumb again to prevent sticking and we are going to push out our orecchiette into these little ear-shaped pieces. Ever so often you can a get little more flour on your thumb, little semolina and pushing out to form the ear-shape. So you want to make probably 15 to 20 pieces per person. Again using our finger to push away using that technique, so there we have the ear-shaped pasta.

    Now that our pasta has been completed and the ear shapes have been formed we need to now blanch and shock the dough.