And they say romance is dead

Have you ever heard of maritati pasta? It is a special pasta combination, made of orecchiette and maccheroni (also known as minchiareddi), particularly famous in Puglia, one of the most beautiful regions in Italy.

Maritati in italian means “married”, and this pasta basically represents the marriage between orecchiette pasta (the woman), and maccheroni (the man).

Fun fact: the other name used for maccheroni, “minchiareddi”, literally translate as “small penises”.

Historically, maritati pasta was served during weddings in Puglia, to wish a happy union to the newly weds. Today, it is the pasta choice for Sunday lunch, generally with ragu or tomato sauce.

The dough for the orecchiette and maccheroni is usually made of semolina flour and water, no eggs or additional ingredients: in the old days, pasta was food for the poor people, who couldn`t afford eggs or fancy ingredients, so we are going to stick to the original recipe! I am also uploading two videos to show you how to make orecchiette and maritati, it is a very relaxing process and I am sure you will love to have a go at it!

Ingredients for the dough – 4 people:

-400g semolina flour

-200ml water

-pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. combine the ingredients together, adding just half of the water at the beginning, and then incorporating it gradually while kneading
  2. if you feel the dough is very hard, put your hands under fresh water and dont dry them, just keep kneading with wet hands
  3. leave the dough to rest for 30 minute

How to make orecchiette:

  1. take 1/4 of the dough and roll it until you have a “sausege” of 1cm diameter
  2. cut the sausage in little squares of 1cm
  3. put a knife on one square and drag it towards you
  4. take the pasta off the knife, and put your finger in it to turn it inside out – video below
  5. you will need to repeat this process with another 1/4 of the pasta – you cant start just rolling 1/2 of the dough because by the time you finish, your squares will be too dry

How to make maccheroni:

1.take 1/4 of the dough and roll it until you have a “sausage” of 1cm diameter

2.cut the sausage in strings about 5cm long

3. using a thin wire (usually in Italy we use a wire called “paduro, but I couldnt find one, so I disassembled my cake syringe) press the strings against the wire and roll them, like in the video below

4. you will need to repeat this process with another 1/4 of the pasta – you cant start just rolling 1/2 of the dough because by the time you finish, your strings will be too dry

And here is the final result!!

I had them with a tomato and mushrooms sauce, topped with grated salted ricotta

Fresh orecchiette pasta with spicy broccoli and garlic

This is a great recipe: easy, quick, spicy, tasty, colourful. As you can see, it ticks all boxes!

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • Fresh orecchiette pasta, 180g
  • Broccoli florets, 160g
  • Chilli, 1
  • Garlic clove, 1
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chilli flakes to decorate

Recipe:

  1. Wash the chilli and remove seeds
  2. Peel the garlic
  3. Cut the garlic and chilli very finely
  4. Put some oil in a pan and warm it
  5. Add the garlic and chilli
  6. When it starts bubbling turn the heat off, you don’t want the garlic to become golden
  7. Cut the broccoli, their dimensions should be around half an orecchietta
  8. Add the broccoli to the pan with half a glass of water
  9. Let it cook until the broccoli become tender (10-15 minutes)
  10. In the meantime cook the fresh orecchiette
  11. When the orecchiette are cooked, drain them and mix them in the pan with the broccoli
  12. Stir well and put the orecchiette in a dish
  13. Add some chilli flakes to decorate

Enjoy!