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Homemade Orecchiette

I made this recipe almost as soon as I saw it in Bon Appetit (Orecchiette Carbonara with Charred Brussels Sprouts). Today was the second time I made it (you know I had those extra egg yolks from yesterday's cake). The orecchiette may seem a little fussy to begin with but after you get the hang of it, they are quite easy to make. This time it went much quicker. The video on this page really makes it easy (the actual pasta making process is towards the end of the video). There is also a step by step slide show of how to do it but I think the video is better. I would say the whole dish took about 45 minutes including making the orecchiette (not including 1 hour dough rest). I think making the Brussels Sprouts into "leaves" was more tedious than making the pasta!

 This is the dough while it is resting in plastic wrap.

 Orecchiette done and waiting for the water:

Be careful not to salt the Brussels Sprouts too much because the salt from the pancetta may make the dish a little too salty. Today I made the Brussels Sprouts in the oven. I roasted them for about 10-15 minutes at 400. It was a little easier than doing them in batches on top of the stove but it was another pan to wash - ugh! I think I would stick to the stove top method.

Instead of pancetta this time I used a smoked ham that I got from my friend.  It was a huge ham and I didn't know what to do with it all so I decided to dice it and freeze it on sheet pans (so they would freeze quickly and individually). Once it was frozen I dumped it all into a bag and now I have diced ham for a souffle or omelet or for whatever. Well not quite all of it made it into the bag because one of the times when I was putting the a sheet in-the sheet that was in there came flying out and I had diced ham all over the place (believe me-some major cursing took place). But thankfully enough survived that I have a serious gallon size ziploc bag of ham to make some great dishes with.



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