Einkorn Orecchiette with Rainbow Vegetables
For the dough...
Orecchiette is traditionally made with durum-wheat, whole wheat, and/or grano arso flours, which made this pasta a perfect vehicle to try out my new whole grain Einkorn flour. This recipe is 50/50 Einkorn and semola (200 grams total), with approximately 1/2 cup warm water. Einkorn is protein-rich and results in a firmer dough, so more hydration and kneading may be necessary to get it smooth (note that it will be firmer than pure semola in general but still yields excellent results).
Time to shape...
1. Cut off a section of dough and roll it into a thick rope. Dough not being used should always be tightly wrapped!
2. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces and roll each into a small ball (this isn't necessary, but it helps me get a more evenly circular result).
3. Drag the serrated edge of a butter knife forward across each ball of dough, at a slight angle and with enough pressure so it curls in on itself. The knife will form rough ridges.
4. Fold the scraped surface of dough backwards over your thumb so the ridges are exposed. Adjust the shape so it's more round and protruded, as desired. Repeat!
For the sauce...
Grab any veggies you have on hand (broccoli is the most common pairing for orecchiette). I used 2 cloves of minced garlic; 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced; a handful of multicolored mini sweet peppers, thinly sliced; and 1 bunch baby broccoli, roughly chopped, stems included. Saute the onion in olive oil over medium-high heat. Once translucent, add garlic and cook briefly until fragrant. Add peppers and broccoli, a dash more oil, a sprinkle of salt, and 1-2 tablespoons 'nduja (I used City Saucery vegetarian tomato 'nduja). Toss veggies to coat and continue cooking over medium heat until tender.
Cook orecchiette in well-salted water until al dente. Add a dash of pasta water to the sauce and stir to combine, then follow with cooked pasta. Toss to coat, adding additional olive oil and/or 'nduja as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve, and enjoy!