Step-by-Step Orecchiette

Photo: David Malosh
Prep Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs
Makes 1 1/2 pounds dough

See Lucinda Scala Quinn make orecchiette in our step-by-step photo tutorial. Any extra orecchiette can be frozen up to six weeks: First, freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a resealable plastic bag and return them to the freezer. Boil directly from the freezer.


  • 2 cups semolina flour, plus more for baking sheet

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 cup water, divided, plus more if needed


  1. Mound semolina and all-purpose flours and salt in 3 separate piles on a large, clean work surface.

  2. Using your fingers, swirl ingredients together until combined.

  3. Gather flour mixture into a pile, and create a well in center. Pour 1/2 cup water into well.

  4. Gradually incorporate flour mixture into water using your fingers.

  5. Once all the water is absorbed, continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture begins to form a dough.

  6. Start to gather and knead dough, working it until no dry flour remains on work surface.

  7. Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

  8. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, and cover them with a clean, damp kitchen towel.

  9. Roll 1 portion of dough into an 18-inch-long rope.

  10. Use a knife to cut and drag a 1/3-inch piece of dough from end of rope facing you -- a grainy wooden cutting board helps grip the dough.

  11. Holding knife at a 45-degree angle to work surface, press and roll dough toward you.

  12. Unfurl each piece of dough over your thumb in the opposite direction to form a concave shape, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprinkled with semolina flour. Repeat with remaining dough. Orecchiette can be stored at room temperature in a single layer overnight; cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.

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