Food & Recipes

Pasta Shapes 101: What Is Orecchiette?

by Sarah Rhodes 10:48 AM, March 21, 2018

Rachael Ray Show

Aired March 21, 2018

It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with pasta. We love all the shapes, all the colors, all the sauces.

And orecchiette is definitely at the top of our list. The “little ears” of the pasta world, orecchiette hails from a region of southern Italy called Apulia. It’s traditionally made with thin rounds of fresh pasta dough that’s gently pressed with the thumb to make small shells—perfect for cradling all that yummy sauce.

RECIPES TO TRY

1) ORECCHIETTE WITH BROCCOLI RABE (ORECCHIETTE CON CIME DI RAPA)
 


In Italy, orecchiette is commonly served with sautéed broccoli rabe, cooked with a little garlic, chili, tons of EVOO and topped with pecorino or parmesan cheese. Super simple, right?

(Warning: People might just start calling you nonna after you make this orecchiette with broccoli rabe!)

2) ORECCHIETTE + RACHAEL’S QUICK-COOKING PANCETTA AND PEAS SAUCE
 


You should definitely try orecchiette with Rachael’s quick-cooking pancetta and peas sauce, too. It’s topped with a big scoop of ricotta cheese. Yum.

3) CLINTON KELLY’S BAKED ORECCHIETTE WITH EASY TURKEY BOLOGNESE
 


Why not use orecchiette in your next baked pasta dish? Like Clinton Kelly did with his Baked Orecchiette with Easy Turkey Bolognese. Comfort food at it’s best.

4) RACHAEL’S ORECCHIETTE WITH ZUCCHINI AND MINT ALMOND PESTO
 


Pesto is another great partner for orecchiette. Rachael’s Orecchiette with Zucchini and Mint Almond Pesto is super-quick, really fresh, and a tasty way to use this summertime staple.

5) GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN’S ORECCHIETTE WITH PARSLEY PESTO
 


"The Kitchen" co-host adds a pinch of nutmeg to his pesto before tossing with perfectly al dente orecchiette.

6) RACHAEL’S ORECCHIETTE WITH BROCCOLI RABE AND BURST TOMATOES
 


This sausage and tomato sauce comes together in a snap -- a perfect weeknight meal.

7) RACHAEL’S SPRINGTIME VEGGIE MINESTRONE
 


Go ahead and add orecchiette to your next soup -- like Rachael does in this minestrone made with zucchini, carrots and other spring veggies.