Orecchiette with Italian peperonata sauce

Level: Medium
  • Prep Time: 60min
  • Cook Time: 60min
  • Portions: 4
For the Orecchiette
  • 300g Semolina flour
  • 150g Warm water
  • 1/2tsp Extra-virgin olive oil
For the Peperonata sauce:
  • 3 Bell peppers / mixed colors
  • 750g Heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 purple onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pinch red chilli flakes
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh herbs (basil, oregano, chives)
  • 2tbsp water


  1. Mix all ingredients until you obtain a soft, yet firm dough.
  2. Knead until smooth, then form a ball.
  3. Wrap in cling wrap and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  4. Cut a piece and roll it out in a 1 cm-thick log.
    Keep the remaining dough wrapped in plastic film.
  5. Cut the log in small square-shaped pieces.
  6. Take one small dough square and press the tip of a table knife against the corner farthest from you, holding it at an angle.
  7. Press down and pull the knife towards you, rolling the dough until it wraps around the knife.
  8. Using the other hand, turn dough disk inside out, pushing your thumb in the centre of the dough disk.
  9. Repeat the same steps for the rest of the dough.
  10. Spread the orecchiette on top of a drying rack or a lightly floured tray, and let them dry.
  11. Cook them in salted boiling water until they rise to the surface (5-7 minutes).
  12. Peperonata sauce:

    Prep: Cut the bell peppers into 2 cm pieces, cut the tomatoes into wedges. Slice and rinse the leek. Slice the onion and chop the garlic.

    1. Heat up a large skillet over medium low flame and saute the leeks with a pinch of sea salt in a splash of water until wilted (about 10 minutes).
    2. Add the purple onions and bell peppers and cook another 5 minutes until the peppers start to soften.
    3. Stir in the garlic and add the tomato wedges.
    4. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
    5. Cover with a lid and cook another 5 minutes until the tomatoes release their juice.
    6. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the stew, taste and season with sea salt and lemon juice.
    7. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs and serve with orecchiette.

    The sauce is great also for polenta or just a piece of bread.