Orecchiette alla Lucana

[RECIPE] Orecchiette alla Lucana from Basilicata

In Italian Regional Recipes, Recipes & How-to by Roscioli Italian Wine Club

Orecchiette are pasta pieces made of water and flour in the shape of a small ear, which is common in both Puglia and Basilicata. While the best known version from Puglia is made with with turnip tops, a local species of broccoli, in Basilicata it is very popular with this tasty ragù - known as orecchiette alla Lucana.

Orecchiette alla Lucana

Recommended wine pairing: Aglianico del Vulture

The consistency of the pasta sauce goes well with the structure of the Aglianico del Vulture, an indigenous variety of the Aglianico grape which is also widespread in Campania, especially under the name of Taurasi.

Servings: 4

  • 400g/14oz Orecchiette pasta pieces
  • 300g/11oz veal mince
  • 500g/18oz fresh tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped OR 400g/15oz tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Chilli powder/red pepper flakes
  1. Start the sauce by softening the onion in a pan with a little olive oil over a low heat.
  2. Once the onion has turned transparent, add the veal mince and a little salt. Turn up the heat and brown the meat for a few minutes.
  3. Next, add the tomatoes and cook on low heat for about two hours, stirring occasionally. If the sauce looks dry, add a little hot water.
  4. Add the orecchiette to a pan of boiling, salted water, and cook to al dente (usually a minute or two less than the time stated on the packet).
  5. Taste the ragù, season with salt as needed and add a sprinkle of chilli and chopped basil leaves. 
  6. Drain the orecchiette pasta, stir through the ragù and serve with the grated Pecorino cheese.

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