We’ve spotted some amazing dishes using Barilla orecchiette pasta from Chef’s Roll ambassador chefs on Instagram lately, and it inspired us to dig a little more into the story behind the pasta shape.

Orecchiette translates to “little ears” in Italian, and looks just as its name implies, with little ear-like cups that cradle and capture sauces. Italian food company Barilla offers one of few orecchiette cuts produced using bronze dies, now available in bulk packaging for foodservice. The resulting traditional look and texture makes it a great match for more rustic dishes. Orecchiette originated in the southeastern coastal region of Puglia, where it is commonly served with rapini (also known as broccoli rabe), and often the spicy local pork sausages in a classic pairing. It combines well with other ingredients from South Italy, such as bean varieties ranging from cannellini to borlotti, and salty-savory seasonings like anchovies, capers, and olives.

Oh, and those Instagram posts? Here are a few of our favorites:

We’ve never had an aerated artichoke, but this looks amazing, from Chef Sean Streete at Meadowood in Napa. The mise en place alone was a work of art.

Aerated Central Valley Artichokes . . . . . @steeliteusa #steelite #steelitesighting #chefslovesteelite #chefsrollcap417sl #chefsrollofficial @lostcarchef #sponsored_CRapril2017 @barillaus #chefsrollcap417bp #barillapastaperfect #moleculargastronomy #foodstarz_official #soignefood #truecooks #chefsplateform #foodartchefs #foodporn #fourmagazine #mymuybuenochefs #visitnapavalley #foodprnshare #chefsfoodart #staffcanteen #beautifulcuisines #creatividadgastronomica #gastroart #chefsroll #rollwithus #cookniche #chefsofinstagram #inspiredbypassion #chefsplateform @simplistic_food @culinarytalent @beardfoundation @food @opentable @dinedispora @foodandwine @platemagazine @saveurmag @thecleverroot @tastingpanel @platemagazine @lusciousmagazine @chefsroll @caribbean_culinary_collective @huffposttaste @cookniche @chefsofinstagram @mymuybuenochefs @culinaireinspiratie @thefeedfeed @gastronomynews @food52 @four_magazine @abcthechew @thefeedfeed @soignefood @modernistpantry @foodstarz_official @gastronomynews @culinaryvegetableinstitute @simplistic_food @purposeplating @oceanmistfarms

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And Chef Jason Voiselle in Florida killed it with this one:

…Clams, pork belly, and a cilantro-miso sauce. Wow!

Chef Jason also showed the color impact of using a saffron cream with the orecchiette in this little number:

Learn more about Barilla’s Collezione Orecchiette at their website.

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