Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fennel and Mushroom Orecchiette

Orecchiette by ng @ Whats for Dinner?A friend asked me "Where is Italian NG?". I remember as a child asking my mom the same thing. "Why do we always eat rice?" Now I almost never make pasta. Its funny because my husband loves pasta, and I would almost always want to eat rice! So I made this meal to answer my friend. Here is Italian NG's Dinner:

Roasted Garlic by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
I found some really nice imported orecchiette, which are little pasta ears. I wanted to make a simple sauce,with tons of veg but the orecchiette are small and I didn't want to overpower them.
In a non-stick pan over med heat:
1 tsp oil
1 finely chopped onion
1/2 a finely chopped fennel bulb
9 cloves of roasted garlic
9 mushrooms, sliced so they look like the orecchiette
1 tsp fennel seed
Salt and pepper

After the mushrooms stop giving off liquid and the onions have a nice colour add:
1 can Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced olives rings

Cook for 10-15 min or until pasta is ready. Can add some of the pasta liquid if the sauce is too dry.

Fennel and Mushroom Orecchiette by ng @ Whats for Dinner?Mix with the orecchiette and top with fennel greens.


  1. Orecchiette are from Apulia, the region our family is from. When I was a girl, my nonna taught me how to make them homemade. Very easy and tasty. Too bad no one passed that on to you. I am going to buy the ingredients and try this recipe this weekend. Might even attempt homemade pasta.Monday is a holiday, so we have a long weekend. I feel like doing some cooking. It is definitely fall here now. I have a lot of the garden pulled up and working on turning it over. In the mood to get things snug for winter.

  2. I didn't know you can make Orecchiette, I know grandpa can. Whats the recipe.

  3. To make orecchiette, take equal amounts flour and semolina. If I remember maybe 2 cups each. Put in middle of table (or large bowl if you like), but with my nonna, we made a mound on the table, and made a volcano in the middle. Sprinkle some salt over all, add about 1 cup water into the volcano, and work it in with a fork. It may not all work in, but you will get a dough. Knead the dough. Divide into several chunks, roll into snakes about as fat as your thumb. Then cut into pieces about 1/2" thick. Put that cut piece in your left palm. Now stick your right thumb tip into it, and form over your thumb tip. Pinch the sides alittle, and put on a clean towel to dry.Use the leftover flour/semolina mixture on your hands and cutting surfaces to keep dough from sticking. I will have to try this myself! I went on line to find measurements, and adjusted it to my memory. Good thing 1973 is clearer to me than 2008.

  4. I can't believe you can remember that. Ok I will try that. I made fresh pasta with eggs last week. 1 cup of flour to 1 egg. It made me crazy to roll it out. I think this will be faster.

  5. Made your recipe last night for dinner. A few changes, could not find any orecciette (imported, fresh, of otherwise) so I subbed an Italian semolina pasta, kind of like fussili, but shorter and fatter (kind of like me). Also, used the entire fennel, bulb and stalk, as what else would I use it for. It turned out fantastic, everyone, inc brothers, came back for 2nds. Office is ordering pizza today for lunch, and I was supposed to go in on it. I decided to bring leftover pasta instead, because why eat pizza hut, when I could eat your lovely recipe!

  6. this is fantastic! please update with your Italian recipes, Italian Angee :)


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