Cooking Homemade Italian Pasta

Featuring Chefs Elena and Michela making orecchiete pasta at home in Italy

Elena is an international student attending CSU from Italy. Her mom, Michela, taught her how to make this type of pasta that is traditional to the region in Italy Michela comes from originally.


  • 150 grams or 1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 300-350 grams or 2 1/2 – 3 cups Semolina Flour (Durum Wheat)
  • warm water (as needed)
  • Sauce to top the pasta

Equipment needed

  • serrated knife
  • dough scraper or spatula
  • pot to cook the pasta in
  • wooden board or tabletop space to roll the pasta out
  • pasta strainer



  1. Mix the semolina flour and all purpose flour and make a groove in the middle.
  2. Slowly add the water into the groove and mix together. Add the water a little bit at a time.
  3. You’ll mix and knead the dough until it’s smooth and doesn’t flake off or break. Add water to your hands if the dough sticks to them while you’re kneading.
  4. Use the dough scraper or spatula to incorporate the bits of flour that get stuck on the board or tabletop.
  5. Roll the dough into a log. Cut off a bit and place the rest of the dough in a covered bowl or plastic bag until you’re ready to use it again so it doesn’t dry out.
  6. Prep trays with flour or use a clean dishcloth.
  7. Roll the dough into a smaller log and then cut 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces with the knife.
  8. To prepare the pasta shape, take your knife in one hand and put a pasta piece between the knife and your thumb.
  9. Slide the dough pieces between the knife and your thumb to create a shell-like shape.
  10. Flip the shell over your thumb upside-down and then place it on the tray. Wrinkles in your pasta are ideal!
  11. If your dough rips, you may be pushing too hard. If this happens, you can squish the pasta dough into a ball again and try another time.
  12. Once all your pasta pieces are all done, you will boil a pot of water with a little salt. You’ll want enough water to cover the pasta pieces.
  13. Drop in the pasta by lifting the towel edges and dropping the pasta in, or scooping the pasta from the trays into the pot. It will be dry enough by this point that you won’t have to worry about changing its shape when you transfer it to the pot of water.
  14. Boil the pasta for five minutes, taste it, and then strain it.
  15. You can also create a pasta sauce to go on top of the pasta.

Enjoy your freshly made pasta!

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Watch video and view recipe on the page!