Durum wheat, water and hand work, that's all you need to have a perfect fresh pasta dough. In Apulia making fresh pasta is a real craft. All over the region there are many people who make their own pasta on an everyday basis. There are so many different kinds of pasta, from the very traditional, to super special, which you can find just in this region. The most famous one is the orecchiette pugliesi.
If you take a walk through the streets of the historical center, especially on the countryside of the Itria valley, it is very likely to see somebody making Orecchiette somewhere. This Apulian pasta is a typical lunch or dinner for the family and friends and it is usually served together with turnip greens or homemade sugo.
The Apulian people created their tasty and unique cuisine with simple and raw ingredients. There are many different kinds of flours that are used when making pasta. For example farina di grano tenero, di grano arso (burned flour), farina integrale (whole wheat), manitoba, grano saraceno and many other kinds. Together with sea food and vegetables they result in simple and flavorful main dishes.
Here is a little overview of the different kinds of pasta in Apulia so that you know what to order when you see it on the menu:
ORECCHIETTE: they are also called recchietelle. They are small concave disks usually pressed with the thumb, which creates a cavity, perfect to soak up the sugo. Together with cime di rapa (turnip greens), it is one of the most famous pasta dishes in Apulia.
TROCCOLI: typical in the northern apulian area of the region Gargano, the trocolli are similar to the fresh tagliolini (long and flat spaghetti) with a coarse surface and oval cross-section. Usually they are cooked with minced hard boiled eggs, pecorino cheese, asparagus tips and a lot of tomato sauce.
STRASCINATI: one of their sides is wrinkled and the other one smoothed. They are made with the movement of 3 fingers on a cutting board. Strascinati are typically served with legumes and vegetable soup.
CAVATELLI: they are similar to small gnocchi, with an elongated shape and hollow on their inside. The cavatelli are really good with bottarga (fish eggs) and cherry tomatoes, meat ragù, turnip greens and other vegetables. They also match perfectly with hard ricotta and grated pecorino cheese.
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