Orecchiette (strascnat, handmade pasta)
Prep Time: 30 minutes + resting time
Cook Time: 5 minutes (variable, see recipe)
Keywords: boil pasta nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegetarian semolina flour Italian
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 100 g / 3.5 ounces semolina flour of good quality
- A pinch of salt
- 50 g / 1.75 ounces warm water
Note: I recommend weighing both flour and water.How to make the dough and shape strascnat
Make a dough with the ingredients and knead until nice and smooth. [You can watch my hands at work in this short video.] Let it rest, well covered (e.g., in a small ziplock bag or wrapped in plastic film), for 30 minutes or so.
Working on the kneading board, roll the dough into a thick salami and cut it into 5-6 pieces. Keep them covered while you shape the strascnat. Roll each piece into a pencil-size snake (3/8 inch / 1 cm thick), then place it so that it is perpendicular to your body. Cut a 3/8 inch / 1 cm long piece and draw it across the board with a blunt-tipped knife with a smooth blade thinning the dough and curling it into a little dome. Repeat. [You can watch my hands at work in this short video.]
As you shape the pasta, lay it out to dry on a lightly floured section of the kneading board (or a baking sheet lined with a cotton kitchen towel). Repeat until you have used up the prepared dough.
Cook the strascnat and dress as you like. The following cheese sauce is just a suggestion.How to cook and dress the strascnat
Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil, add some coarse salt, stir and then toss the pasta in it. The time needed to cook it is a bit variable, depending on how dry it is, but it is not long.
In the meantime, melt the butter in a skillet on gentle heat, then add the cheese and stir while it softens. You want to time this so that the cheese is just melted by the time the pasta is ready to join it.
Taste and stop the cooking when the pasta is ready. Pour a glass of cold water in the pot, stir and drain leaving a little bit of the cooking water clinging to the strascnat. Drop the pasta into the skillet with the melted cheese. Stir well over medium-low heat for half a minute or so, until the pasta is coated with the cheese. Plate and serve immediately.