I love pasta, who doesn’t? Orecchiette or ‘little ears’ pasta are perfect for scooping up the sauce. A simple pasta dish can really stand out with a good sauce, cooked to perfection (al dente of course) and of course cheese. Adding Mozzarella with this pasta dish simply brings the dish alive. Try it at home if you don’t believe me!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 500g Orecchiette Pasta
- 2 cans of plum tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- 150g Pancetta
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 4 carrots (chopped)
- 2 celery sticks (chopped)
- 2 aubergines (chopped)
- 4 fresh tomatoes
- Dried basil (1/2 teaspoon)
- Fresh basil (a handful for cooking and another handful for garnish)
- Ground black pepper
- 2 fresh Mozzarella (tear apart with your hands)
- Pecorino cheese (or Parmesan)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
First, we make the Ragu. Heat the pan and when its hot enough, put a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the finely chopped garlic and shortly after the pancetta. Then, add the onions. Fry until golden brown.
Now, add the chopped up carrots, celery and aubergines. Fry for about 10minutes. Add dried basil, ground black pepper. Finally, add the canned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. It will be a much tastier ragu if you can simmer it for an hour.
In the mean time, cook the pasta. Bring a pan of water to boil. Don’t forget to add salt to the water to increase the boiling point. Cook the pasta for about 10 minutes for al dente.
Prepare the mozzarella, gently pull it apart with your hands. Grate your pecorino cheese (or parmesan). Check on the ragu. Should be smelling amazing now. Ragu sauce should be thick, but not too thick or too watery. If it’s too thick, add a little water from the pasta.
Ready to dish? First get a portion of the Orecchiette pasta. Add a few scoops of the ragu, then add the grated pecorino cheese, some fresh basil, the mozzarella and a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil. Buon appetito!