Unlike pasta all'uovo, which is made with flour and eggs, Pasta di Semola is simply made with durum wheat flour and water. Both doughs are specific to certain types of pasta. Semola dough is typically used to shape pasta such as orecchiette, cappelletti, cavatelli, spaghetti, farfalle, etc.
Today we will demonstrate how to make just one of them, and that is Orecchiette. The name "orecchiette" which means small ears, definitely describes the shape of the small concave cylinder. In Italy so much of the culinary teachings are passed down in the kitchen and around the kitchen table. The tradition of making homemade pasta is learned from sitting and watching the skilled hands of grandmothers, aunts, and mothers. Though it may seem laborious, it is definitely worth gathering your family around the table to shape each delicious morsel. Let's get to work!
Fork for mixing
Trey to set orecchiette on
500 grams semolina flour - We used Durum Wheat Semolina Flour
255 grams warm water
1/4 teaspoon salt
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Place the semolina flour on the work surface and add salt, mixing everything together.
With the help of your hand, create a well in the center.
Add part of the lukewarm water and a drizzle of olive oil inside the well, keeping it from spilling out.
With a fork, whisk the flour and water together.
Continue adding water to the well, slowly incorporating in the flour from the inside edge of the well.
With help of a bench scraper, or simply with your hands, bring together the dough with the rest of the flour, as shown in the video.
Once the flour is mostly incorporated, knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth. Work the dough for 8 - 10 minutes. Initially the dough may seem dry, but continue kneading as it will come together. If the dough seems too dry, wet both hands under running water and knead the dough once more.
Cover the pasta dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
After it has rested, cut a small portion of dough and roll it out into a long cylinder, about 1 centimeter thick (1/2 an inch).
Dust your work surface with semolina flour.
Cut small penny sized portions from the rope like cylinder.
With the help of a smooth, thin butter knife, press down on the outer edge of the dough and dragging the knife toward you. Make sure the knife is at a 45° angle. The dough will curl around the knife as you press and drag.
Flip the curled piece of dough inside out with your thumb, as shown in the video, as it forms a little concave disk or "ear".
Place on a semolina floured trey. The orecchiette can be used immediately or dried for later use.