The rain continues. Our Sunday afternoon was spent indoors sleeping, watching the tennis finals, playing Battleship and Lego. We hadn’t planned a dinner so I looked in the fridge, freezer, pantry and herb garden and managed to come up with something pretty impressive. Creamy handmade orecchiette to warm our insides as it is far from Summer outside.
We usually have a lovely view from our front veranda but it is thick with rain at present. Our street is divided with a park through the middle and the other side of the street is covered in water. Nothing, however, compared to what some other parts of Queensland are going through.
The kids made the orecchiete this afternoon. A good rainy day activity which resulted in rather thick ‘little ears’ of pasta so I cooked them a little longer than usual. In future I think I will cut the pieces for them, nice and small, then leave the thumb printing to the kids. I mixed up the dough in the mixmaster with a dough hook, wrapped it and put in the fridge for a while to rest.
Then the kids got busy rolling the dough into ‘snakes’ and chopping off little pieces before pressing their thumbs in to form a little dint. I tried to teach them how to run a butter knife into the dough pieces and then turning it inside out but it was too complicated for little fingers. Thumb pressing was good enough.
A sprinkle of semolina and then we left them to dry out while we had baths.
The recipe is adapted from a Sean Moran recipe using what we had. Delicious.
orecchiette with bacon and broccoli
300g unbleached plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
100g bacon, sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
a good handful of basil
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
100ml pouring cream
100g pecorino, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small handful of parsley, chopped
In a mixmaster, fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour, semolina, salt and 180ml of warm water together. Knead together for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour to rest.
Work with a little of the dough at a time, roll into a ‘snake’ about 1 cm thick. Slice off 5mm pieces and press your thumb in the centre to form a little ear shape. Dust with a little extra semolina and leave to dry whilst continuing with the rest of the dough.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 6 minutes. Add the florets of broccoli and cook for another minute or two. Drain.
Whilst the orecchiette is cooking pound up the basil leaves with 4 tablespoons of olive oil to form a paste.
In a large frypan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the bacon until crisp and golden over a medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook to soften. Tip in the cooked orecchiette and broccoli and add the cream and basil paste and warm through. Stir through the pecorino and season to taste. Sprinkle over some parsley and serve with some extra pecorino.