I'm not a fan of mixing my own flours into a blend. I never seem to get the right amount and then I end up ruining the recipe. I'd rather buy a flour blend from a company that I trust that I know will work. That's one of the reasons I like King Arthur's Perfect Pasta Blend. It has a combination of semolina, durum & all-purpose flours and does great for making pasta.
I used it last year when I made pierogies and then again in the winter when I made fettuccine. This time I set out to make orecchiette. Note to self: Make sure you have at least 2 hours when making this pasta. It's not that this pasta is hard to make because it's not at all. It's the shaping of this pasta that takes forever.
The pasta is rolled, cut, dragged, and flipped before it's shaped and ready to go. Plus you can make hundreds of orecchiette for each recipe. I ended up making half now and freezing the rest for later. I really liked this pasta as it was firm, held up well in the water, and tasted great with a simple marinara. I could have rolled it a little thinner but otherwise this was a winner!
1. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour a half cup of water in the center and use your fingers to incorporate the water into the flour.
2. Continue adding additional water a tablespoon at a time until a dough forms.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl and begin kneading the dough, working at it until no dry flour remains. I also had to add an additional tablespoon or two of water at this point.
5. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and cover with a clean, damp towel.
6. Roll each portion of dough into a long, 24 inch, rope. Then use a knife to cut a ⅓ inch piece of dough off of the rope.
8. Place the orecchiette on a baking sheet sprinkled with more Perfect Pasta Blend.
9. When ready to make place the pasta in boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until they float to the top. Drain and serve with marinara sauce.
Note: To freeze the pasta place it in the freezer on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. Then take the frozen pasta and place it in a freezer bag. To cook remove from the freezer and place directly in boiling water.