Homemade Orecchiette with Broccoli



I was feeling ambitious yesterday, and decided I’d try my hand at making homemade pasta. I don’t have a pasta maker or anything fancy like that, so I was limited to pasta that I could shape by hand (which really is any type… if you have the patience!). I chose Orecchiette (‘little ears’). It seems like a very popular pasta shape these days, with all the magazines using it, from Real Simple to Gourmet. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least common types available in stores. I’m not sure of the reason behind this recent popularity, but I’ve still only been able to find it in specialty stores or Whole Foods. It is a nice, thick, chewy pasta that clings to chunky sauces well. Anyway I decided to make my own and it’s a good thing I started at 4pm on a Sunday, because it took all evening to make all those little ears! Luckily there was a Legally Blonde marathon on and this was a good project to work on while watching movies!

There are tons of recipes out there for pasta dough, and I used pretty much the traditional one from Joy of Cooking. I thought it turned out well! Although, to be honest, homemade pasta is good but maybe not good enough to warrant all that work. Dried pasta really is OK by me…

Homemade Orecchiette with Broccoli (serves 6)
3 1/2 cups Flour
4 eggs + 1 egg white
1 tsp Olive Oil
For Broccoli Sauce: (adapted from January’s Gourmet)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic
20 oz Frozen Chopped Broccoli
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1/2 cup Water
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Pepper
3/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan

To make the pasta, mound the flour in a bowl, and create a well. Crack the eggs into the well and add the oil.


Using a fork, lightly beat the eggs, slowly incorportating flour from around the well. Once the eggs are beaten and slightly thickened, use your fingertips to incorporate the rest of the flour. When the dough has formed into one solid ball, remove from the bowl and knead 8-10 minutes until very elastic and shiny. Let rest under a moist towel or an overturned bowl for 30 minutes or so. Cut the dough into 4-6 sections and removing one section at a time, roll into a rope 1/3 an inch thick. Using a sharp knife, slice 1/8 inch thick pieces off. Lightly dip your thumb and forefinger into some flour, and pinch the disk to look like a little bowl. Set on a towel or cookie sheet to rest.


When you are finished shaping the pasta, you can either let it dry by leaving it out, and then cook it like normal dry pasta within a few days, or you can cook it right away. If you cook it right away it only takes 5 or 6 minutes in the boiling water. (Always test it for doneness, obviously).

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil for the sauce in a skillet. Chop the garlic and brown it in the oil. Add the frozen broccoli and everything else except cheese. Stir over medium heat for 12-15 minutes until the broccoli is very tender and the liquids have mostly evaporated. Top with cheese and stir into cooked pasta. Done!


3 Responses to “Homemade Orecchiette with Broccoli”

  1. Good for you for giving it a go! Looks like you did a really great job. At least now you can say you’ve done it and it was a success. I can never find Orecchiette in the stores either. Thank goodness for movie marathons and patience šŸ™‚

  2. Love reading clean and organized blogs, that is why I have lingered here for quite a while. Enjoyed and thanks!

  3. 3 lotte123

    Love the photo! And the recipe looks extremely easy too, I may just try it one day šŸ™‚

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