Orecchiette pasta Bari-style: the recipe for the great Sunday classic

Total time: 180 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By gcaso
Durum wheat semolina
400 grams
about 200 grams
Tomato puree
750 grams
Peeled tomatoes
400 grams
Beef muscle
250 grams
Pork pulp
200 grams
Lamb pulp
200 grams
Fresh sausage
200 grams
Fresh chilli
1 clove
Dry white wine
as much as is needed
as much as is needed
Extra virgin olive oil
as much as is needed
Grated Pecorino cheese
as much as is needed

The orecchiette Bari-style is a typical first course of the Apulian tradition. The classic fresh homemade pasta, based on semolina flour and water, is generously seasoned with a rich and full-bodied ragu meat sauce, as required by the cuisine of Southern Italy, with pieces of mixed meat, cooked on a very slow flame until it becomes very tender. The final sprinkling of grated pecorino cheese will give the preparation an even more decisive and enveloping taste and fragrance. A recipe with a reassuring flavor, perfect to be shared with family and friends and maybe enjoyed on the occasion of the classic Sunday lunch. So let’s find out how to prepare this dish in the best way.

How to prepare the orecchiette Bari-style

Using a well-sharpened kitchen knife, cut the meat into pieces of 3-4 cm per side 1.

Peel and chop the onion with a knife, slice the chilli and peel the garlic. Fry them in a large saucepan with a drizzle of oil 2.

Remove the casing from the sausage and while browning it divide it with a wooden spoon 3; also add the meat into small pieces and let it flavor, then add the wine and let it evaporate.

Add the peeled tomatoes and the tomato puree 4, mix, add salt and cook with the lid on over low heat for at least 3 hours, checking from time to time.

Collect the durum wheat semolina in a bowl, add the water 5 and mix with a fork, then knead vigorously until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough; cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Detach a portion of the dough and stretch it to form a 2 cm diameter cord. Then cut it into cubes every 2 cm and drag them one at a time onto a floured wooden surface with the tip of a smooth, rounded blade knife. Finally, overturn each piece obtained with the knife pushing with the thumb 6. Let the orecchiette dry to air.

Boil the orecchiette for a few minutes in boiling salted water, until they begin to rise to the surface. Drain and season with the meat sauce 7.

Mix the orecchiette and finish generously with grated pecorino cheese 8, then bring to the table and serve immediately.


The orecchiette Bari-style can be preserved in the refrigerator, in a special hermetically sealed container, for a maximum of 1 day. When you prepare the orecchiette, you can cover them with a clean cloth and let them dry; once dried, they can be preserved for about 1 month.

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