To make orecchiette by hand:
- Get the Semolina HERE
- Pour the semolina onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center. Add the water little by little, a few tablespoons at a time. Begin to mix with your fingers, catching any water that tries to escape from the sides.
- Keep adding the water while trying to form a uniform ball of dough.
- The dough will be crumbly at first but will begin to come together after 5-7 minutes of kneading.
- Once you have obtained a uniform ball of dough and the dough no longer sticks to your hands, keep kneading with the heels of your hands for an additional 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft but firm enough to hold an indentation. The end result should feel somewhat like playdo- damp to the touch but not sticky. If the dough feels too wet, dust it and your work surface with extra semolina. If the dough feels too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time and knead it through.
To make in a stand mixer:
- Add the semolina to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the water a little at a time until fully absorbed. Continue mixing on low speed for 5-6 minutes. The dough will be crumbly.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface and knead by hand until the dough is soft and smooth, about 5-7 minutes. Be sure to collect any small crumbs of dough.
- Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. After the dough has rested, roll it out to the desired thickness. Keep any dough that is not in use under a damp towel to prevent drying as you roll out the rest of the dough.
- To roll out the dough by hand cut the dough into 10 pieces and roll one piece at a time into a 1/2 inch thick rope. While rolling keep your fingers together and spread them apart to lengthen the rope.
To make the Orecchiette:
- Cut off 1/4 inch pieces from the rope. With a serrated knife like the Nonna Knife (link here), press down on the piece of dough with your left index finger on the tip. Drag the piece of dough toward you while applying moderate pressure.
- Keep the dough on the knife and turn the piece of dough inside out over your left thumb so that the dough side is exposed.
To cook immediately:
- Lay the pasta out on a clean tablecloth or screen. Make sure none of the Orecchiette are touching one another or they will stick.
- Lay the pasta on a baking sheet in a single layer making sure none of the Orecchiette are touching one another. Freeze for 15-20 minutes and then transfer to a freezer safe plastic bag.
- You May keep the pasta frozen up to several months. Frozen pasta does not need to be thawed before cooking, just drop it directly into the boiling water and cook until the pasta floats.
To make the sauce:
- Get the Passata HERE
- Put a large skillet over a medium flame and heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, about 1 minute.
- Add the passata, salt and basil leaves and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
- Drop the pasta into generously salted boiling water and cook until al dente. If you used fresh pasta, the pasta will begin to float when al dente.
- Drain the pasta and transfer to the pan with the sauce. Cook over high heat for 1-2 minutes making sure all the pasta is coated in the sauce.
- Add the Burrata on top of the pasta and slice it open. Mix the Burrata through the pasta. Serve immediately.