Thursday, June 23, 2011

80--- Spring Orecchiette

Orecchiette are small pasta "ears". I think they look like red blood cells, only white. But maybe that's just me.

This pasta is so fresh and springy! It will give you energy for that upcoming run or surfing session.

Spring Orecchiette

Serves 4-5

10 oz orecchiette uncooked

2 shallots, chopped

1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

8 oz fresh pea-sized mozzarella balls

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes

8 stalks asparagus

2 Tbsp+ 1 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until softened slightly, ~2 minutes. Stir in white wine vinegar, then add brown sugar. Continue to heat until mixture is reduced, ~ 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare a steam pot over a large pot of boiling water. Shave asparagus stalks into steamer.

Chop heads off of asparagus and place in steamer as well. Steam for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Remove asparagus from heat.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook orecchiette until al dente. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside in a large serving bowl and allow to cool for ~ 5 minutes.

Whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar. Add to cooled pasta, then add cherry tomatoes, asparagus shavings and heads, mozzarella balls, and caramelized shallots. Garnish with fresh chopped chives (if desired) and serve.

Nutrition Info per ~1 1/2 cups: 299 calories, 11 g fat, 16 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber


  1. Nothin' like a comforting bowl of RBC's!

    This really does look like a perfect pasta dish, though. I can never find orecchiette in my grocery store. All we have are boring arteries and veins (Fettuccine/ Spaghetti) :)

  2. Orecchiette is one of my favorite pastas, the brown sugar sounds awesome with the vinegars and tomatoes, yum!!

  3. Delish! Just stumbled on your site and wanted to say "hello" from MN!

  4. Love your blog! I'm trying to eat healthier and this might be the first of your recipes I try...

    2 questions - I don't have white balsamic vinegar - can I use regular? And could I use rice vinegar for the white wine vinegar?


  5. Hi Morgan! Thanks for your comment! I am a vinegar snob! Each has a very specific taste, so I would not advise substituting.