Homemade Orecchiette Pasta
Orecchiette are the typical pasta of Apulia (Puglia), the heel of Italy. Nowadays you can buy them in many supermarkets all over the world, but local women in the region still hand-make them for special occasions or just for Sunday lunch. The most traditional way to serve them is with broccoli rabe and anchovy sauce.
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If you are not using the orecchiette right away, let them dry at room temperature for 24 hours and then transfer them to a paper bag. Check them from time to time to make sure no mold develops, and use within 1 week.
Cooking time will depend on dryness of the orecchiette. If the orecchiette are freshly made, it will take about 5 minutes. If they are a few days old and dry, cooking takes about 8 to 10 minutes. In any case, as always when cooking pasta, the best way to check is to taste.
The best flour to use is durum or semolina "rimacinata", but in a pinch you can use regular semolina flour mixed with plain white flour, with a 50% to 50% ratio.