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Orecchiette With Lemon Caper and Parsley Sauce

The number of   Tuesday Night Vego Challenge recipes based on pasta isn’t really reflective of how often we eat it.  I’ve featured Pasta Primavera Carbonara and Lemon Feta Tortellini made with home-made pasta, and Pasta Puttanesca and Summer Pasta in Five Minutes, and a couple of Asian versions – Phó Inspired Egg Noodle Soup and Wontons with Ginger Bok Choy Filling, which are really the same concept as ravioli but with Asian flavours in the filling.

But home made from scratch pasta, made with real eggs, meets all the Witches Kitchen definitions of good – it’s high protein nutrient dense good-for-you. It’s made with local, in season ingredients without excessive packaging or storage costs good-for-the-world.  And it tastes very very good.

Unless you’ve had a lot of practice, orecchiette for two only just make it into the half hour.  But it’s a very pleasant half hour, one in which you can chat, have a glass of wine, listen to music, and cook all at once.

The Recipe:

Makes two adult sized serves. Recipe doubles easily.

The Pasta

In a food processor, blend for just a minute till it comes together into a dough:

  • ¼ cup fine semolina
  • ¼ cup plain flour  (I use the same Laucke Wallaby Unbleached Bakers Flour that I use for my sourdough)
  • a large egg,
  • a dessertspoon of olive oil
  • a dessertspoon of water
  • a good pinch of salt

Flour the workbench and knead very briefly, kneading in enough more flour to make a smooth, non-sticky dough. It will look like quite a small dough ball, but a little bit goes a long way.

Divide the dough into four and roll each into a long skinny snake about 1 cm thick then cut the snake into 1 cm bits. There’s a knack to the next bit. I just squoosh each little orecchiette on the floured benchtop with a finger, dragging towards me to make the little ear shaped curled cups.

Put a big pot of water with a pinch of salt on to boil and let the orecchiette dry for a few minutes while you make the sauce.


In a heavy frypan, saute a chopped onion and a chopped trombochino or zucchini or squash till just tender.

While they are cooking, blend together

  • dessertspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup (packed) flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 5 macadamias (or you could use pine nuts or cashews)
  • juice and rind of ½ lemon
  • teaspoon capers

 Cooking the Orecchiette and Assembling:

Add the orecchiette to the boiling water and cook for just a couple of minutes until they float to the top and are tender.  Drain and add them to the frypan with the onions and zucchini, along with a couple of handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes.  Sauté for just a couple of minutes.  Toss through the blender mix and serve with grated parmesan on top.


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Tanya @ Lovely Greens December 6, 2012, 8:11 am

    It’s not often that you come across a pasta recipe where you actually make the pasta! It looks easy enough though and really tasty 🙂

  • Yvonne October 6, 2019, 5:12 pm

    Despite making my own fresh pasta regularly I have not thought to make orecchiette. You have now inspired me to do just that for my next pasta dish.

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