Anyone visiting Puglia brings with it a piece of its culinary tradition: fresh pasta from Puglia and, above all, orecchiette
The orecchiette are almost a symbol of Puglia, are a must for those who come to visit us. For this reason we decided to live and let you experience the preparation of the fresh pasta. We have chosen as “teacher” one of the depositaries of this culinary tradition: Nonna Dorina, that will reveal one of her secret recipes to prepare the authentic orecchiette.
The grandmothers in Puglia have always prepared fresh pasta at home every Sunday. Granny Dorina is the example. With her and some of our Korean guests we relived the Sunday experience of preparing orecchiette. It is not hard to learn how to do them, it is not easy to do it with the rapidity and naturalness with which Dorina does it. But hers is an experience accumulated in 50 years of hard work at home!
Dorina showed us everything, from how we make the dough to prepare the pasta up to how the single orecchietta is produced. She was patient and determined but also made us smile with her typical Apulian sympathy and welcome.
We started with the mass: durum wheat semolina and warm water (in our specific case we used 500 grams of semolina and 200 ml of water). The dough must be made by hand on the board (or pastry board) rigorously rough, better if used a little.
We put the semolina on a work surface, made a hole in the center and slowly added the warm water to about 40-45°. You must knead for at least 15 minutes, stretching the dough with the palms of your hands, pushing it hard, rolling it on itself, turning it 90 ° and starting to spread it with the sole force of the hands. All this until you get a smooth, elastic and firm dough. Then leave it to rest for about half an hour, covered with a slightly damp cotton kitchen towel.
Once the 30 minutes have passed, the most beautiful part comes: the fresh pasta from Puglia takes shape and becomes homemade orecchiette!
We took the pasta and after cutting a piece we began to make small cords about a centimeter thick. Straight from the cord we started making a cut and, dragging this small piece of pasta, the magic happens: the first orecchietta comes out. Ok, our at the beginning had shapes not exactly perfect like those that Dorina literally “let them rain” but with practice, according to our friendly teacher, we would go closer and closer …
Today we learned how to make orecchiette and the staff of Terra Terra immediately cooked them with the classic turnip tops. In the culinary tradition of Puglia the orecchiette are almost always accompanied by turnips. But in Martina Franca we use to eat them on Sunday with the sauce, strictly homemade, with the chops and the meat … a real treat that you absolutely must try during your holiday in Puglia!
We can say that we have not simply learned how to make pasta but we have lived (and experienced) moments of the Apulian Sunday tradition. The one that unites all the families of Puglia around a table, numerous and “noisy”.
Our beloved land of Puglia, land that lives!
Come and experience it too, we are waiting for you!