Orecchiette, which means "little ears" in Italian, is a small, concave pasta shape hailing from the southern region of Italy, particularly from the regions of Apulia (Puglia) and Basilicata. Its unique shape, resembling a small ear or a miniature bowl, makes it perfect for capturing sauces and ingredients, creating a delightful burst of flavour in every bite.

Crafted from durum wheat semolina and water, orecchiette pasta is traditionally made by hand, where small pieces of dough are rolled and pressed with the thumb to create the characteristic concave shape. This artisanal process not only gives orecchiette its distinct appearance but also ensures a slightly chewy texture that pairs beautifully with a variety of sauces and toppings.

Orecchiette's versatility lends itself well to both hearty, rustic dishes and light, fresh recipes. It is often enjoyed with traditional Apulian sauces like "orecchiette con cime di rapa" (orecchiette with broccoli rabe), where the slight bitterness of the greens complements the pasta's savoury flavour. Additionally, orecchiette pairs wonderfully with tomato-based sauces, creamy cheeses, and a variety of vegetables, meats, and seafood. 

Whether served as a comforting bowl of pasta e fagioli (pasta and bean soup), tossed with roasted vegetables for a vibrant primavera dish, or combined with rich sausage and broccoli for a satisfying meal, orecchiette pasta brings a touch of Italian charm to any table. Its delightful shape and versatility make it a beloved staple in both traditional Italian cuisine and modern culinary creations alike.

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