All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
This pasta is vegan but the sauce is not. The sauce is, however, raw & very good for you! The nice thing about orecchiette (little ears) is that it is a homemade pasta that doesn’t require any special tools. It would, however, require a good 15-20 minutes of kneading the dough (which I used my bread machine for) but beyond that it is very easy. I recently purchased a little wooden gadget to roll gnocchi on & I used it here to make these prettier but that was just goofiness. It doesn’t effect flavor or the ability of the pasta to capture sauces. This is a SUPER easy entry level pasta & an even easier sauce. TRY IT!
Homemade Orecchiette with Spinach Pecan Pesto & Gruyere
2 cups flour
1 cup semolina flour
3/4 cup plus 4 TBS water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans – toasted til fragrant in a dry pan
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves (or less – to taste)
2 packed cups spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup gruyere cheese – grated – as garnish
parsley – chopped – as garnish
Additional fresh spinach – chopped – as garnish
S&P to taste
additional water for the pesto
Toast the pecans in a dry pan until they are fragrant (a few minutes) making sure they do not burn. Put the toasted pecans, olive oil, garlic, spinach, Parmesan & about 1 tsp each of salt & pepper in a food processor & blend until smooth. Add water if necessary to get a nice smooth consistency. Set aside.
To make the pasta – either blend the flours & salt in a deep bowl, create a well, add the water & blend & knead until you have a soft & pliable dough that is no longer sticky. Additional flour might be needed to lose all tackiness.
Alternately – put the ingredients in a bread machine & use the pasta dough setting & let the machine mix & knead the dough. This is genius and a bread machine only costs about $100 – and I use mine ALL THE TIME for bread, pasta & pizza doughs.
Once you have your dough, break of hunks & roll them into long snakes about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut these into 1/2 inch pieces & then with your finger tip or other small round thing – create little ears with each of the small bits.
Initially, I used my finger tip
Until I spied this hanging from an old Orangecello bottle & used this for the rest
Allow these to dry on wax or parchment paper (or a floured surface) for 3-4 hours.
If you happen to have one of these
You can roll the backside of each piece over it for this look
To cook – boil water & add the orecchiette & cook until they all float to the surface – typically well under a minute. Drain & mix with the pesto & top with chopped fresh spinach, parsley & grated Gruyere. Take pictures & post all over Instragram & Facebook & Tweet immodestly of your culinary achievement!