Pugliese pasta

Pugliese pasta

Pasta Pugliese

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From
Sharing Puglia
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

In contrast with our cousins in the north of Italy, the Pugliesi, like other southern Italians, make pasta with flour and water only. This method is used mainly for economic reasons. Traditionally, Pugliesi did not use eggs for the everyday job of making pasta, but rather saved them for other dishes. In my neighbourhood of Corato, a common practice was for housewives to dismantle broken umbrellas so they could use its ‘stretcher’ wire to make fricelli. Thank goodness it didn’t rain very often in Corato!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g semolina flour
50g 00 flour
125ml tepid water

Method

  1. Put the flours on a board and make a well in the centre. Add half the water and, with your hands, incorporate the flour into the water, always scraping more flour into the mix. Slowly add the remaining water and continue to combine the ingredients. If the dough is too dry add an extra tablespoon of water at a time until the dough is soft. Continue to knead for 5 minutes. Cover the dough and allow it to rest in a warm, non-draughty place for 30 minutes.
  2. Now shape your pasta dough as you would like (see note).
  3. Another popular pasta shape is fricelli, which is made by using a thin wire with small grooves. The stretcher wire part of an umbrella is perfect for this or you can use a wooden skewer as an alternative. Make a long rope of dough the same as for cavatelli, then cut the rope into 1.5 cm pieces. Roll the pieces in a little flour. Place the wire or skewer onto a piece of the dough and roll it back and forth, gently pressing down, using both hands on the work surface. Slip the wire or skewer out once the shape is formed around it.
  4. Capunti is made the same way as fricelli. The only difference is you spear the pasta pieces with the wire, roll the pasta piece between your hands and then slip out the wire.
  5. Once the pasta is made, place it on a wooden board and leave it to dry at room temperature for approximately 4–5 hours. If you are not using the pasta the same day, place it in one layer on a tray and freeze it. When frozen, place the pasta in a bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  6. Your pasta is now ready to cook in boiling salted water until al dente. Top with the sauce of your choice.

Note

  • To make orecchiette, divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a long rope about 2 cm thick. Cut this rope into 1.5 cm pieces. Using the blunt side of a butter knife, press down on each piece of dough and slowly drag the knife towards you, making the pasta curl up over the knife. Turn the dough over your thumb to make the shape of a little ear.

    To make cavatelli, divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a long rope about 2 cm thick. Cut this rope into 1.5 cm pieces. Using the blunt side of a butter knife, press down on each piece and slowly drag the knife towards you, making the pasta curl up over the knife. Transfer the cavatelli to a floured baking tray and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (These can be made a few hours before and left at room temperature.)
Tags:
italy
italian
puglia
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