This is classic comfort food and although it’s not a traditional Italian pasta the addition of paprika and lil bit of cream will leave you wanting seconds. I can seriously guarantee this. This is frickin delicious and completely worth the calories. The way I see it, it’s future Holly’s problem. Current Holly is making very very good life decisions.
Of course you don’t have to make your own orecchiette. Store bought as well as penne or gnocchi will also work well. For those wanting a little extra challenge the texture of homemade orecchiette is similar to my Pici. Chewy, fat and moorish with no need for a pasta maker.
Baked orrecchiette with bacon & tomato
3 rashes of bacon, cut into cubes
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2tbs tomato paste
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (about 200g), quartered
2/3 cup of cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup mozzarella
Orecchiette pasta (if making it by hand)
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup OO flour
1 cup warm water
For the Orrecchiette:
Mix together the salt and flours in a bowl making a well in the centre. Gradually mix in the warm water until the dough forms. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface and kneed for 10 minutes. Wrap with glad wrap and leave for 30 minutes. Once the pasta has rested break the dough into four pieces and roll into 2-3cm log. Cut the dough into gnocchi type dumplings. Using a knife, roll the pasta along a floured board creating the orrecchiette. To finish off the semi circle wrap each piece around your thumb.
For the sauce:
Fry the bacon in a pan until par cooked. Add the onion and garlic with a little extra oil and sauté on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cherry tomatoes and stir around until fragrant and the tomato skin has split. Pour in the cream along with the parmesan, sugar, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the sauce is thick and smoky finish off with the parsley.
For packet orecchiette: cook as per the packet instructions.
For home made orecchiette: drop gently in rapidly boiling salted water stirring around for 3 minutes.
Drain the pasta and add to the tomato sauce. Pour into a baking tin, top with mozzarella and bake for 20 minutes! Seriously, this is absolutely delicious. I challenge you to not go back for seconds (thirds).