Friday, June 22, 2007

Orecchiette with Pesto and Peas

Orecchiette…my absolute favorite pasta shape. Meaning little ears in Italian (ear is orecchio), they catch sauce and filling like a dream. The slightly domed shape traps the sauce and bits, while the uneven texture makes it easy for sauce to cling to its surface. They are thinner in the middle, and thicker towards the rim, giving it an interesting feel when you chew. They even have this way of looking rustic and homemade, even if you’ve just bought it at the store. For me, orecchiette is perfection in a pasta shape.

I keep a bunch of different pastas in our pantry. You never know what noodle will suit the sauce of the moment, or even what "pasta-shape-mood" you’ll be in (yes, there is such a thing…I swear it!). But no matter how big, or small, the stash is, there is always a pack of orecchiette waiting.

And when I made a small batch of pesto, I knew it was the perfect time for it to come out and play.

Since C is not exactly a pesto-loving creature, I’ve made this recipe (if you can call it a recipe, it really is far too simple) for one. If you have a partner who doesn’t like pesto you will appreciate this. Besides, sometimes a girl needs some solo internet-surfing time with just a warm bowl of pesto pasta for company :)

Orecchiette with Pesto and Peas
  • 80 grams orecchiette
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (approximate, depends on your taste)
  • 1/3 cup green peas

- Cook pasta as per package directions in a saucepan of generously salted water.
- When pasta is cooked, drain and place in a bowl.
- While pasta is hot, toss with pesto and peas.
- Top with freshly grated parmesan if desired (I just ate it as is).
- Serves one.

Ok, that really was too simple to be called a recipe. The dish itself is sublime in its simplicity. Pesto and peas go so well together…a symphony in green. I'll maybe try adding some ricotta next time I make this, but I really like it as is. I love having this in a deep bowl, spoon in one hand, eyes glued to the screen, catching up on what all of you have been doing. And may I just reiterate one more time, orecchiette it the perfect pasta for this dish (and for so many others).

O-re-cchie-tte! I even love the way it sounds…saying it makes me feel like a fabulous Italian woman. Try it. We could all use a little “fabulous Italian woman” in us…unless you already are a fabulous Italian woman. In which case…lucky you! Happy weekend to all fabulous women out there…Italian or no…and that means all of us! :)

I am submitting this to Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights...I hope I made it! Check out the delicious pasta dishes from all 16 round ups (so far) at Once Upon A Feast.


Meeta said...

YUmmy! Simply lovely and green. Perfect pastas dish!

katrina said...

I love orecchiette, too! That and conchiglie. For two reasons: the first, as you said, is how it holds sauce; the second, you hinted at already -- it's easy to eat! No twirling or slurping of long noodles, no cutting, no need to spear with a fork (as with penne), and no need to make sure each bite has enough sauce, 'cause the pasta took care of it! When I'm too lazy or just don't feel like having to deal, these pastas are perfect. :-)

Ipshi said...

im in awe of the concept of a "pasta-shape-mood".. i feel like that so many times!! So many times iv made something just because i found my favorite bow shaped pasta on the grocery shelf (don't know its name.. bet u do:)
Happy weekend to u too Ma'am! This sounds so so simple that i just have to make this now... thanks for making my life so easy! lol!

Midge said...

Orecchiette are so cute! (So are rotelli, rotini, fusilli, and campanelle!) I like the idea of serving them with pesto, but I usually throw in some sliced and sauteed portobelli for an earthier flavor.

Incidentally, I tried your gotu kola pesto recipe the other day and found it so wonderful!

ragamuffin girl said...

i just discovered your site recently and I love it!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Meeta! Thanks :) I love how it's so green :)

Hi Katrina! I agree! They are easy all around and make the pasta more delicious with their sauce-magnet personalities :)

Hi Ipshi! So you understand the concept of the irresistable pasta shape cravings ;) The bow ties are called farfalle :) Happy weekend!

Hi Midge! Yup, super cute! :) And with mushrooms...mmmm...must try that next! I'm so glad you liked the gotu kola pesto! :)

Hi Ragamuffin Girl! Thank you! I'm happy you like it and hope to see you here again :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I'm totally with you on different shape pasta for different moods. Beautiful colour.

Ruth Daniels said...

symphony in green...absolutely! Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love orecchiette, too, Joey! They look so cute!

What a delicious dish, I'm hungry and I won't be leaving for lunch in another hour and a half...

Timothy said...

love this photo. looks delish!

aria said...

see though its these perfect trio of in-greeeen-dients that will have me surely make this. nice and simple, me likes;)

Franco said...

How can a person not love pesto?

It's tangy, salty, crunchy, it goes with everything and with a food processor, it the simplest thing to create.

And with a little creativity, it can come in more varieties than just the basil kind. The only downside? It sometimes gets stuck between your teeth. :)

Nora B. said...

Great photo! I'm trying to get a friends to teach me to make my own orecchiette. Her father came from the area in Italy where orecchiette originated.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Really hard to imagine not being wild about pesto all over everything! Orecchiette really are cute. Lovely dish Joey.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Amanda! Thanks! :) We can't be expected to eat the same shapes all the time right? ;)

Hi Ruth! It was fun! :) Thanks!

Hi Patricia! Yes, so cute :) All part of the appeal ;) Hope you had a good lunch!

Thanks Timothy! :)

Hi Aria! Glad you liked the post! "In-greeeen-dients"...heehee, I like that :)

Hi Franco! I absolutely agree! Pesto is delicious and so open to different variations :) I guess we just need a mirror after for teeth-checking ;)

Hi Nora b.! Thanks so much :) I'd love to learn how to make orecchiette at home...lucky you! :)

Thanks Tanna! Yes, pesto goes with so many things and in so many dishes :)

Holler said...

What a beautiful photo! The food is so green and I love green! I haven't tried orecchiette, which is strange. I will pick up a bag next time I am shopping and I always have a jar of organic pesto, just in case!

Zita said...


On a different note, you might want to make a photoblog/ coffee book? Photos are fabulous.

christine said...

Mmmm one of my favorite pastas (along with conchiglie and papardelle and penne for the same reasons you mentioned), though unfortunately not readily available in most groceries here, and one of my favorite pasta sauces! The photos are indeed lovely!

Ipshi said...

Uv finally done it.. uv inspired me to post my very own pasta recipe! o please please wud u tell me if it's worth reading? uv given me a great birthday present without even knowing it!! how great r u?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Holler! Thanks! :) It's a great pasta shape both in function and do grab some if you see them around :)

Hi Zita! Thank you so much! I'm very flattered :) So far I've just got my flicker account, heehee :)

Hi Nens! Thank you :) I love papardelle too! I know what you mean though about it not being readily available...sigh...which is why I grab them when I see them :) I have seen papardelle in Santi's and recently orecchiette in Rustan's...

Hi Ipshi! Happy birthday! Oh I'm so glad to hear you've made your pasta dish! I'll be going over there to check it out :)

JMom said...

that sounds delicious!!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Jmom! :)

wellunderstood said...

i also love how little peas nestle so perfectly into the orecciette. i used to add lemon zest, very thinly sliced savoy cabbage, dill, and a touch of cream to my pea-orecciette mix. delicious.

ChichaJo said...

Hello wellunderstood! Yes, I love that too! Your additions sound delicious...will remember for next time :)