One thing Italians share with the rest of the world is their love for pasta. Pasta remains part of a rich tradition that impacts every corner of Italy, meshing with regional cultures and influencing local cuisine.
Orecchiette is a pasta specialty from the beautiful southeastern region of Puglia, down in Italy’s southern ‘heel’. It’s one of the country’s flattest and most fertile regions, with wheat and olive oil produced in abundance.
Orecchiette translates to ‘small ears’—a fitting name for a dome-shaped pasta that looks like tiny ears. This pasta has a thin, concave center, chewy edges, and a rough surface texture. Orecchiette require only three ingredients: hard wheat flour, water and salt.
Their particular shape, combined with the rough surface, makes it perfect for any kind of sauce, especially vegetable sauces.
With its deep-rooted history in the region, use of simple ingredients, and its convenient versatility, orecchiette has become a defining part not only of Puglia’s cuisine, but its culture, as well. And its popularity extends far beyond the region of Puglia.
I absolutely love orecchiette with its chewiness and nice ‘cupping’ ability. Pared with some cheesy meatballs, this meal is so good!