When it comes to homemade pasta, orecchiette is just about one of the easiest shapes you could make. All the manual labor comes with working the dough and then all you need is your thumb to shape the pasta pieces. They won't look perfectly uniform like store-bought pasta, but that is part of the rustic charm of making your own. This orecchiette is tossed in a celery pesto with leeks or you can toss it with tomato sauce and seasonal vegetables, too.

Homemade Orecchiette Pasta With Pesto [Vegan]

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For the Pasta:

  • 2 cups whole durum wheat
  • Warm water, as needed
  • Salt, to taste

For the Pesto:

  • 1 leek
  • 3 handfuls celery leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 8 almonds
  • 10 capers
  • 4 sprigs fresh coriander (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Salt, to taste


To Make the Pasta:

  1. Place the flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt, make a well in the center, and add enough water so that you can form a firm ball of dough. On a flat work surface, knead the dough, then wrap in plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Once time is up, unwrap the dough. Working in small portions, roll the dough pieces into long, thin cylinders (about the size of a pencil), then cut each cylinder into 1/3-inch pieces. Using your thumb, flatten each dough piece in the center so that it looks like orecchiette  Let them dry for a few hours on your work surface.
  3. Once dry, cook the pasta in boiling water for about 10-12 minutes. Drain your pasta and transfer it to a large serving dish.

To Make the Pesto:

  1. Thinly spice the white part of the leek, then toss it with a little bit of salt and olive oil.
  2. If your almonds have skins, add them to boiling water for about a minute, drain, and then remove the skins once they are cool enough.
  3. Rince the capers, then dry well.
  4. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend intermittently, adding olive oil as needed. Season with salt, to taste.

To Serve:

  1. Toss the orecchiette with pesto and leeks. Serve.

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