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Orecchiette (Italian pronunciation: [orekˈkjɛtte]; singular orecchietta; from Italian orecchia, meaning 'ear', and -etta, meaning 'small') are a variety of pasta typical of Apulia, a region of southern Italy. Their name comes from their shape, which resembles a small ear. In the vernacular of Taranto it is called recchietedd, or chiancaredd. A slightly flatter version is called cencioni, while in the vernacular of Bari strascinate are more similar to cavatelli.

Orecchiette carbonara.jpg
Orecchiette showing their typical shape and central depression
Type Pasta
Region or state Apulia
Main ingredients wheat
Cookbook: Orecchiette  Media: Orecchiette

The traditional dish from Apulia is orecchiette alle cime di rapa,[1] although broccoli is also widely used as an alternative to rapini. Particularly around Capitanata and Salento, orecchiette are traditionally also dressed with a tomato-based sauce (al sugo), with or without miniature meatballs (al ragù) or a sprinkling of ricotta forte, a seasoned sheep-milk variety of ricotta cheese.

The Italian cookbook Il cucchiaio d'argento (with an English translation The Silver Spoon, 2005, Phaidon) suggests that orecchiette are ideal for vegetable sauces.

In China, a similar type of pasta is called 猫耳朵 (māo ěr duǒ, literally, "cat's ears").

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Zanini De Vita