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Orecchiette with pork sausage, fennel, garlic and chilli
Orecchiette with pork sausage, fennel, garlic and chilli
Other
Main
1.5 hours
Pasta
Medium
Serves
4

Orecchiette pasta from Puglia in the south of Italy is traditionally made with semolina and water, it can however be made with white bread flour which, although slightly different, gives excellent results.

Tips on cooking fresh pasta:

Always use 2 pans - one large pot to cook the pasta, and a sauté pan for the sauce, which should be heating through while the pasta is cooking. Take the pasta from the pot, to the sauce, and let it cook in the sauce for at least a quarter of the time that it was cooking in the water.

Pasta water is liquid gold. Always add some to your sauce when you add the pasta, even if you think you don’t need it. The starch in it will emulsify with your sauce and make it seem richer and silkier as it cooks together.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients

Dough:

  • 180 00 pasta flour
  • 180g fine semolina
  • 165g warm water
  • 5g salt

Alternatively:

  • 360g Strong white bread flour
  • 170g warm water
  • 5g salt

Sauce:

  • 8 tbs olive oil
  • 250g high quality pork sausages
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 red chilli
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh parsley
  • 200g tenderstem broccoli
Method
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Method
  1. To make the dough mound the flour on a clean work surface or in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle large enough to hold the water. Pour the water into the well and use a fork to gradually bring the flour into the water until it starts to thicken and form a paste. At this point add the salt to the paste and continue to mix, gradually bringing in the rest of the flour until a rough dough forms. Knead the dough for about five minutes until it bounces back when you poke it with your finger, and the surface is smooth. Rest the dough, wrapped in clingfilm or a clean, reusable plastic bag for 1 hour.
  2. After an hour, unwrap the dough and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, and keeping the rest covered to prevent it drying out, roll the dough out into a rope about 1.5cm thick. Using a table knife cut off a nugget of dough about 1.5cm long and position it on your work surface directly in front of you. Hold the knife level to the work surface with the long edge of the blade at a 45-degree angle down towards the work surface pointing away from you. With your dominant hand on the handle of the knife place the fingertip of your index finger of your other hand half way along the blade. Now push that section of the blade down into the nugget of dough so your fingertip is applying pressure through the blade down into the pasta. Start to drag the knife towards you so that the dough starts to curl around the blade. When you are about three quarters of the way across the piece of dough slide your index finger forward onto the curl of dough pushing it down into the work surface to stop it from moving and continue to pull the knife towards you. You should be left with a small tightly curled disk of dough. Now pick up the curl and invert it, turning it inside out, gently unravelling the edges to form the traditional dome shaped orecchiette. Leave the pasta to dry on a clean baking tray lightly dusted with flour while you make the rest of the orecchiette. Repeat the process until all the dough is used up. Once all the pasta is shaped, leave the dough uncovered at room temperature to dry for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  4. For the sauce, finely slice the garlic and chilli, and split the broccoli length ways down the stem and trim any roughends. Remove the sausage meat from their casings and crumble the meat to help it break down while cooking. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on a medium heat, add the garlic, chilli and fennel seeds and fry very gently being careful not let the garlic take on any colour. After the garlic and chilli have been inthe pan for about 2 minutes, crumble in the sausage meat and continue to cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat using a wooden spoon to break up the meat a little as it cooks. Meanwhile drop the pasta and the broccoli together into the boiling water. Keep an eye on the garlic and as soon as it starts to brown add a small ladle of the pasta cooking water to the pan to stop the frying process and start to form the sauce. Shake the pan so the water starts to emulsify with olive oil and any pork fat from the sausage. After 90 seconds of cooking the pasta should be ready. Using a large slotted spoon transfer the pasta and the broccoli to the pan with the sausage meat and toss it together to combine. Mix vigorously and toss continuously to coat the pasta in the sauce. Cook everything together for a further minute, adding a little more water if it seems to be getting dry. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and toss through the fresh parsley right at the end just before serving.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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