Way back in December, while driving around Gargano, Puglia, and after we made a stop in Ischitella to pick up those delicious Marzipan fruit, we stopped in on some of S’ relatives, naturally unannounced.
And what a sight I beheld!
His cousin was busy at work, making an army of orecchiette all by herself. Orecchiette, or “little ears” pasta are traditionally found and made in Puglia. They are most commonly served with a “cime di rapa” turnip greens sauce. It’s very time consuming to make each little ear as they are rolled, cut and shaped by hand. I have making orecchiette on my “I Dare” culinary challenges this year, so I’ll be showing you some step-by-step instructions later.
I got fascinated by her hands. She was so fast at it I had to ask her several times to slow down so I could get them frozen in the frame. It’s hard to interrupt someone hard at work.
Usually when you sit down to make them, it’s best to make as many as you can and keep what you don’t use, since once you get into a rhythm of making them, it’s hard to stop! S’ family usually makes several kilos at the same time.
Here’s the army of Orecchiette, waiting for battle.
That rough texture is the sign of homemade pasta. Too uniform? Not by hand.
Where S’ relatives live is a very interesting stretch of land. On one side, they have a large lake. Houses rest on a stretch of land a few kilometers wide, and then the ocean is immediately on the other side.
They spend a lot of time fishing in the salty channels that flow in and out from the sea. Each family has one or more of these fishing nets out in front of their house.
I couldn’t resist this little black cat – I wasn’t sure what was the most dangerous part about it – being black, or its insatiable curiosity? It followed me around as I took pictures of its home.
Do you like orecchiette? What kind of sauce do you pair with yours?