We love learning new tricks and trying new recipes here in the Palace Kitchens and these homemade orecchiette are fun and simple to make. With just three ingredients and no pasta machine required, little people on school holidays can get stuck in too.
If you aren’t keen to make your own pasta, don’t worry! You can also use store-bought pasta shells and serve with our sauce of brussels sprouts, bacon, Pesto Princess Sundried Tomato Pesto and crème fraîche.
Give it a try and let us know how you get on!
With love from the Palace,
You will need
For the pasta
300 g semolina flour*
150 g warm water
½ tsp of extra virgin olive oil
* The Italian name may be on the package: semola di grano duro. If you can’t find this flour in your local supermarket, then all-purpose flour will do the trick.
For the sauce
±450 g homemade orecchiette pasta/store-bought pasta shells
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
500 g brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, leaves separated or quartered
170 g rindless bacon rashers, finely chopped
125 ml (½ cup) white wine
80 g Pesto Princess Sundried Tomato Pesto
2 Tbsp butter
250 ml crème fraîche
…Make the pasta
1. Combine all the pasta ingredients in a mixer or by hand until they come together into a soft ball. As with all pasta, the dough requires a little kneading until it is nice and smooth. If using a mixer with a dough hook attachment, this won’t take long. If you are using some elbow grease, knead for about 10-15 minutes.
2. Wrap the dough in a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight in a sealed container and shape the following day.
3. Cut off a piece of dough and roll it into a ‘snake’ 1 cm thick, then cut it into little 1 cm bits. The traditional way of shaping this dough is to drag a blunt butter knife over the small pieces of dough to make a small ear. You can get a similar effect by dusting your hands with flour and pressing down in the middle of the 1 cm piece to create a little indentation. Place on a floured surface (tray or baking paper) to air-dry the pasta before cooking.
Repeat the steps until you have used up all the dough. We found it easier to roll out all the ‘snakes’ first, cover with a damp cloth, cut all the 1 cm bits and then press all of them together.
…Make the sauce
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook the quartered sprouts, until golden for about 4-5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until crisp. Transfer the bacon to the plate with the sprouts.
3. Pour the wine into the pan to deglaze and simmer for 2 minutes to reduce by half. Add the Pesto Princess Sundried Tomato Pesto and stir to combine. Lastly add the butter and stir until melted.
4. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it rises to the surface. This will take about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve a little of the pasta water to add to your sauce if you need to thin it a little.
5. Add your pasta to the sauce. Add the bacon and brussel sprouts and add a good dollop of crème fraîche and a crack of black pepper.
Warm through and serve immediately.
Recipe and food styling by Michelle Parkin.
Michael Olivier’s Choice
Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2014
The big plus of this wine is the provenance of the grapes – a 40 plus year old vineyard. Older vineyards like this produce grapes with thick and flavoursome skins, adding to the ability of the wine to age well.
It looks like Elegant labelling on a Burgundy shaped bottle. In the glass a rich straw colour.
It smells like Soft sundried apricots, soft vanilla and a brushing of oak.
It tastes like Sweet tropical limes with white fleshed peaches, almond paste and windfall oranges. Generous mid-palate and a long lasting after taste. Brisk acidity holding it all together.