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Orecchiette with Napoletana Sauce

Posted on November 12, 2009 by in pasta

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Orecchiette is one of the less popular pasta shapes, but since I’ve read Jamie Oliver’s book Jamie’s Italy and saw the Italian mamas and their children sitting around a table making these interesting pasta shapes, I’ve been keen to make it myself. In Italian orrechio means “ear” so Orecchiette in essence means “little ears”.

It is made with a basic pasta dough and all it requires is just patience and a little bit of skill and before you know it you can be turning out beautiful orecchiette just like a real Italina mama. If all this is too much work for you, simply go to you nearest Italian deli or market and buy a different pasta shape this time. Orecchiette is ideal for just about any kind of sauce. The “little scoops” are just perfect for a ragu, Napoletana or even a cream based sauce, just make sure you make ample sauce, those “little ears” can absorb quite a lot of sauce. I chose a Napoletana sauce, because it is an healthier option and we have an abundance of tomatoes at the moment. You can find the recipes for my Napoletana sauce here and here.(this one is for large quantities)

I served my Orecchiette with Napoletana Sauce with grated parmesan, shredded basil and toasted pine nuts!.


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23 Responses to “Orecchiette with Napoletana Sauce”

  1. Bellini Valli 12 November 2009 at 11:28 am #

    These "little ears" are simply delicious. I would love to be able to sit at a table with Italian mamas and churn them out for a huge family feast!!!!

  2. Nina Timm 12 November 2009 at 11:56 am #

    val- oh, so would I!!

  3. Something's Dishy 12 November 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    You're right! I think kids would love this pasta shape! I must use it next time I make pasta.

  4. Koek! 12 November 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Jamie's Italy is easily my favourite cookbook in my collection. Molto piacevole!

  5. Nina Timm 12 November 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    something's dishy – it is also one of the more substantial pasta shapes….quite filling!!

    koek – Absolutely!

  6. ♥peachkins♥ 12 November 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    this is the second time I enountered this little ears in my bloghopping. I'm gonna check if we have that here.

  7. That Girl 12 November 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    I was just telling the husband this morning how lucky we are to live in an area where we have so many specialty shops – like an Italian grocer with fresh pasta of all shapes and sizes.

  8. Nina Timm 12 November 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    peachkins – I hope you find it soon

    that girl- count your blessings my friend!

  9. Pam 12 November 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    Orecchiette is one of my favorite pastas but I have never made it on my own. Thanks for the great recipe to try.

  10. The Cooking Photographer 12 November 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Beautiful. I adore Jamie Oliver's Italian book. I love the photographs, the recipes, and his stories.

    You have pretty darn good taste over here!


  11. tobias cooks! 12 November 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Nothing better than a simple plate of pasta. Looks good!

  12. farida 12 November 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    We make something similar to this pasta in Azerbaijan, but ours looks more like a boat than ear:) Your pasta looks delicious!

  13. My Carolina Kitchen 12 November 2009 at 10:20 pm #

    What a lovely pasta dish. Jamie Oliver's recipes are so interesting. He's become very popular in the US.

  14. browniegirl 13 November 2009 at 1:48 am #

    Just fabulous Nina…Love Orecchiette. Thanx for the recipe. Shall give it a try soonest. xxx

  15. elly 13 November 2009 at 4:07 am #

    Orecchiette is my favorite pasta shape! It's just so cute and those little divots are perfect for clinging to sauce. Looks fantastic!

  16. Helene 13 November 2009 at 5:19 am #

    I would love to share a meal with you anytime. Delicious looking pictures also.

  17. Elra 13 November 2009 at 6:19 am #

    Delicious little ear pasta.

  18. Nina Timm 13 November 2009 at 7:56 am #

    pam – it is a wonderful thing to do with a good friend,while you chat and have many cups of tea!!

    cooking photographer – thanks, Laura for visiting!! I hope to see you here again!!!

    tobias cooks – as Jamie says, it is amazing how three simple ingredients like eggs, flour and water can make such delightful plates of food!!

    farida – thank you!

    my carolina kitchen – I think he is famous around the world, he is unpretentious and has made good food popular!!

    browniegirl – maybe together while we plan???

    elly – totally agree!!

    helene – hop on the next plane and you wish will be my command!!!

    elra – thanks Elra, I haven't seen recipes from you in a while. You're ok???

  19. Dhanggit 13 November 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    OMG this is so gorgeous!! And that sauce it looks absolutely delicious!!

  20. Lori Lynn 14 November 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Lovely photos Nina. I make an orecchiette with a lemon cream sauce, and I haven't made it in quite a while, thanks for the reminder.

  21. mycookinghut 15 November 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    I love your first photo where the Orecchiette were in the making.. beautiful!!! I have never had Orecchiette before, I am sure this is another way of enjoying pasta.. 🙂

  22. Sarah 17 November 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Mmmm, I love these "little ears"! I find they are one of the best pasta shapes for getting the sauce to stick to the pasta 🙂

  23. 31 July 2015 at 11:38 am #

    All your foods look good and yummmmy. Thanks for posting your recipes.

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