This is one of those rustic dishes that hits the spot every time. The sauce has everything you need, wine, cream, herbs, lemon, parmesan – all the good things! I implore you to try and make the orecchiette from scratch, it’s a labour of love but you cannot beat the texture. It will work perfectly with store bought too though so either way this is not one to miss and it really is so perfect with a crisp glass (bottle!) of Yealands Reserve Pinot Gris.
PREP TIME: 1 ½ hours (if making the pasta) 15 mins if not
COOKING TIME: 20 MINS
FOR THE PASTA
FOR THE SAUCE
If making the pasta tip your flour out onto the bench and use the bottom of a small bowl to press a well into the middle. Pour your water in and using a fork whisk the water, slowly incorporating the flour from around the edge. Keep whisking until you get a thick paste in the middle then use your hands to bring it into a ball, it will seem like a mess at first but don’t worry it will get there! Knead the ball for a few minutes until it has a dimpled like appearance then wrap in cling film and rest for 10 mins. Continue kneading for 4 – 5 minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough. Wrap tightly and rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, up to three hours.
Slice a section off the dough and squeeze it into a sausage shape then roll it out with your hands flat on the board into a long strand about the width of a finger then cut into pieces 2cm long. Roll the pieces into balls and then using a knife press the ball down while dragging across the board until it has turned in on itself. Turn it out by pressing it over the top of a finger then pop them onto a tray lined with baking paper and dusted with flour. It takes practice but it doesn’t matter if they don’t look perfect! If you aren’t using them straight away, I like to freeze them open on a tray until frozen then pop them into a snaplock bag or container to cook from frozen.
FOR THE SAUCE:
Gently sauté the onion in 2 tbsp of oil for 8 – 10 minutes until soft and translucent, you don’t want them to brown so turn the heat down or add more oil if necessary. Add the sage, thyme and garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes. At the same time heat 2 tbsp of oil and the 40g cubed butter in a large heavy bottomed pan, when the butter has melted add the mushrooms and toss to coat in the oil, then mostly leave them alone to allow them to brown, turning once or twice in 10 mins. Add the onions to the mushrooms with a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper followed by the wine and let it reduce for a minute. Add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer before adding the lemon juice and zest.
Meanwhile bring a pan of heavily salted water to the boil and cook the orecchiette for 3 minutes then add straight into the sauce with a ¼ cup of the pasta water. Add the grated parmesan and gently stir until it melts through. Taste for seasoning and then add the chopped parsley and serve.
Recipe created for Yealands by Burnt Butter Table.