Orecchiette with Sun Gold Tomatoes and Basil

Source: Evan Allumbaugh, Flour + Water

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 26, 2017. And yes, you can eat tomato leaves!

Makes 4 portions


Pasta Dough
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup “00” flour
100 grams tomato leaf purée
½ cup salty warm water

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sun gold or cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, shaved
1 pinch chili flakes
Kosher salt to taste
6 ounces orecchiette
¾ cups grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
1 bunch basil


To make the dough: Combine all ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook attachment. Mix until dough comes together. If crumbly, add a small amount of water until dough forms a ball. Be careful not to add too much water, or the dough will become sticky and unworkable.

Wrap dough in plastic and let rest for 20 minutes.

Roll dough between your hands to create a rope 3 to 4 feet long and ½ inch wide. Put rope on a work surface and, with a sharp knife, cut into ½ inch pieces, separating pieces as cut so they are no longer touching. Lightly toss cut pieces with a little semolina.

Put each cut piece of dough face down on a wood surface

With a butter knife, press down and drag in toward your body. When the dough has almost wrapped the knife completely, push it against your index finger. Fold dough over on your thumb.

Set the orecchiette on a sheet tray dusted with semolina flour. Leave uncovered to air-dry at room temperature until ready to cook.

To make the sauce: Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and chili flakes, season with salt, and cook until tomatoes blister and burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 1 gallon of water to a boil. Season with salt. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked about 80 percent of the way. Drain pasta, reserving 2 ounces pasta cooking water.

Transfer pasta to skillet with tomatoes; set over high heat. Add pasta water. Cook, stirring and tossing often, until sauce thickens and begins to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Stir cheese, and half the basil and toss until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Garnish with the remaining basil and serve immediately.

Photo by Madison Ginnett.

Farmers Market Ingredients