- 2 cups semolina flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 to 1¼ cups lukewarm water
- pinch of salt
Place both types of flour in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix well. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the water a little at a time, stirring with your hands until a dough is formed. You may need more or less water, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.
Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead it like bread until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the dough and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Roll the dough into long dowels about 3 to 4 inches thick. Cut the dough into flat disks about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Press the centre of each disk with your thumb, to form a saucer shaped pasta. Alternatively, you can drag each disk with a butter knife, across a lightly-floured wooden board. If you’ve ever made gnocchi like this, you’ll know exactly the kind of pressure this requires. The disk will curl into a shell-shape so then you ‘open’ the shell by turning it inside out. This process is of course more time-consuming but it’s how my mother used to make orecchiette and it’s the only way you will get that rough outer skin you see in the packaged orecchiette from Italy.
Place the orecchiette on a sheet tray that has been dusted with semolina flour, cover the pasta with a clean dish towel, and set aside until ready to use. At this point, the pasta can be frozen for several months.
Recipe adapted from Mario Batali, Food Network