The trademark of the Puglia region, orecchiette literally translates to little ears. Supposedly, everyone in Puglia has big, bent thumbs from speedily pressing the pasta into little ear shapes when they make it, which is where its name comes from.
This is pasta made with 100% durum semolina wheat and water from the springs of Mount Vesuvius to preserve the traditional, natural flavours that brought pasta worldwide recognition. Due to its array of health benefits (it's rich in proteins and other macro-nutrients) and its particularly good cooking qualities, durum wheat has been an integral part of Mediterranean gourmet cuisine for centuries.
A full-bodied disc shape allows it to perfectly capture the sauce. The most famous dish using the pasta is certainly orecchiette allecime di rapa, which combines it with seasonal greens like turnip tops or tender stream broccoli, and a touch of garlic.