Orecchiette with Marinated Eggplant, Burrata and Chiles
At New York City's A Voce, Missy Robbins makes this elegant, decadent pasta dish with burrata, the creamy cow's-milk cheese from Italy. She says, "I absolutely love burrata, but this recipe also includes my trifecta of favorite ingredients: marjoram, lemon and chiles."
Orecchiette with Sautéed Greens and Scallion Sauce
Richard Reddington fills homemade ravioli with ricotta, mascarpone, arugula, spinach and Swiss chard, then serves them in a green garlic-and-white wine sauce. Toss store-bought orecchiette with arugula and chard (both are tastier than spinach) and make the sauce with scallions instead of green garlic, which can be hard to find.
Orecchiette with Sausage and Chicory
At Alto, Michael White uses dandelion greens to give his slightly spicy sausage pasta a bitter edge, but chicory or escarole makes a great stand-in.
Orecchiette with Veal, Capers and White Wine
"The sauce fits the pasta," said judge Marc Vetri in praise of this tender veal ragù flavored with white wine, capers, thyme and rosemary, then tossed with the little ear-shaped orecchiette. "The meat, the capers—they hang on to the pasta when you lift up your fork."
Orecchiette Bolognese with Chestnuts
Daniel Boulud tops house-made orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) with a bolognese sauce prepared with venison, pork butt, chicken liver and veal stock. He finishes the dish with fresh porcini mushrooms, chestnuts and butternut squash.
In this simplified recipe, store-bought dried orecchiette gets tossed with a bolognese sauce made with just ham and ground chuck. Finishing the dish with chestnuts (leaving out the porcini and squash) adds a delicious and unexpected touch.
Baked Orecchiette with Pork Sugo
In Italian cuisine, a sugo is a gravy or sauce. Here, Ethan Stowell prepares a pork sugo by braising pork shoulder until it almost falls apart, shredding it in a food processor and mixing it with a red-wine-and-tomato sauce; then he bakes it with orecchiette under a topping of Parmigiano cheese until crispy. The dish is an excellent alternative to the usual baked pasta, because it's not as heavy and cheesy but still delicious and satisfying.