Hello followers, Buongiorno from Puglia. Since moving to this part of Italy, I have been making quite a bit of our own pasta, different shapes, typical of this area. The most famous and certainly well known shape must be the "orecchiette" pasta or "little ears". The shape of this pasta allows it to hold a bit of the sugo or sauce in the inverted center, making it even more delicious. I learned another shape at a restaurant from a very nice chef, owner and partner, but the most typical of the area is also Davids' favorite. We have become friends with a couple of British expats, Anne and David, who have been very kind and helpful in navigating some ins and outs of living in Italy as residents. Anne and David have also been in the hospitality industry, owning and B&B in Rome for several years and now are the owners of a large complex of Trulli apartments for rental in the summers. Anne mentioned that her Italian neighbor, Guilia, made pasta every Wednesday and Thursday and was willing to show me her method of making the orecchiette. This is just another example of how very kind and friendly the people in Puglia have been to us. Guilia, her daughter Vittoria, Anne and David arrived on a cloudy Thursday morning to make the pasta. Not only did Guilia bring her own board for mixing and rolling, she brought the flour to show me the type she uses. This is important as there are variations among cooks, you find one you like the best. Now keep in mind that neither Guilia or Vittoria speak English, Anne speaks Italian and I have a tiny vocaulary of Italian thats get me by in the markets, shops and restaurants. We begin with the mixing, then kneading and let me tell you that Guilia is very stong in the arms. It is work to knead dough into a state, ready for rolling the long strands. After the proper kneading, which I find no problem doing, it was on to the cutting and shaping. THIS IS NOT EASY. Gulia and the other ladies in places like Bari, have been making these shapes since they were children of 6 or 7, helping mothers or grandmothers. Through a great deal of laughter, same in English and Italian, we managed to get me to the point of an "acceptable little ear". It gets better with practice, which I am happy to do, and David is happy to test. I even served what I made to another couple , Italian, and got rave reviews. Success is sweet and I hope to make some of these wonderful shapes for my family and friends in Texas and various other states. Some additional pictures for your enjoyment, some food, some of our house, some places we visited.
Hand rolled and shaped Orecchiette pasta from Puglia, typical kind of pasta made all over Puglia, made only with flour and water. The large city of Bari, about 30 miles away from is is famous for the old section of the city, where the ladies sit outside their workshops, making the pasta.