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Orecchiette carbonara.jpg
Orecchiette showing their typical shape and central depression
Place of origin Italy
Region or state Apulia
Type Pasta
Main ingredient(s) Flour

Orecchiette (Italian pronunciation: [orekˈkjɛtte]; singular orecchietta; from Italian orecchia, meaning "ear", and -etta, meaning "small") is a variety of home-made pasta typical of Apulia, a region of southern Italy. Its name comes from its shape, which resembles a small ear. In the vernacular of Taranto it is called recchietedd, or chiancaredd. A slightly flatter version is called cencioni, while in the vernacular of Bari strascinate are more similar to cavatelli.

The traditional dish from Apulia is orecchiette alle cime di rapa,[1] although broccoli is also widely used as an alternative to rapini. Particularly around Capitanata and Salento, orecchiette are traditionally also dressed with a tomato-based sauce (al sugo), with or without miniature meatballs (al ragù) and/or a sprinkling of ricotta forte, a seasoned sheep-milk variety of ricotta cheese.

The Italian cookbook Il cucchiaio d'argento (with an English translation The Silver Spoon, 2005, Phaidon) suggests that orecchiette are ideal for vegetable sauces.

In China, a similar type of pasta is called 猫耳朵 (māo ěr duǒ, literally, cat's ears).

See also


  1. Zanini De Vita


  • Zanini De Vita, Oretta (2009). "Orecchiette". Encyclopedia of Pasta. University of California Press. pp. 188–190. ISBN 978-0-520-94471-8. Retrieved 18 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>