Apulia’s industrious people - living in the South of Italy - have inherited great culinary traditions based on local ingredients and cultural exchanges.
One of the area’s most famous foods is orechiette, a distinctive pasta made with durum wheat, salt and water, and formed in a very particular shape that resembles human ears. Hence the italian, "orecchia" (ear) and "ette" (little).
In Cisternino, located in the historic zone of Itria Valley, typical orecchiette are prepared with either horse meat ragout or with a delicious spring vegetable called cime di rapa (turnip greens).
Both the shape and texture of orecchiette make this robust pasta ideal for a variety of combinations, especially with vegetables.
Take a look at the traditional technique of making each indivdual little ear by hand:
Here's a trio of orecchiette recipes that'll immediately transport you to the region :
Orecchiette are given a chef makeover by chef Edwin Soumang in this delicious vegetarian dish prepared with Orecchiette di Gragnano, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.
This simple recipe for orecchiette will captures traditional Italian flavours and brings them straight to your table.
If you're looking for a heartier dish try this orecchiette pasta with arugula, tomatoes, spinach and kidney beans.