mains/meat free/recipes/that noodle life

St. Patrick’s Day Pot of Gold Pasta: Orecchiette with Yellow Tomatoes and Bocconcini

Posted March 17, 2016 by Stephanie
st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Is anyone else out there a little freaked out by St. Patrick’s Day? I mean, I like celebrations as much as any other person, but this one seems a little weird. Green beer, leprechauns, and being able to pinch someone if they’re not wearing green? What’s even stranger is that it’s actually a religious celebration and all the things that I associate with St. Patrick’s Day have nothing to do with the holiday at all.

st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Even so, we’ll be celebrating in our own little way: my hair has a bit of green in it, Mike’ll pop open some Guinness (Guinnesses? Guinni?), and we’ll either be eating pot of gold pasta or some Irish stew! To be honest, this pasta almost didn’t happen. I was brainstorming recipes for St. Patrick’s Day, thinking that I’d make potatoes or another Irish stew – I really like stew, potatoes, and all brown food. I was feeling kind of uninspired when Mike came up with the awesome idea to use orecchiette to stand in as little gold “coins”.

st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Have you guys had orecchiette before? The first time I had it was in Paris, on my first trip abroad with Mike. Before we even landed, I let him know that I absolutely LOVED walking and wanted to walk around the entire city. I think Mike took my declaration a little too seriously because we walked for hours and hours before stopping to eat. I’m pretty much a constant snacker so this was not good. I broke down a little, freaked out a lot and got very very hangry.

st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Eventually I forcefully pulled him into a very cute little cafe that was stocked with a bunch of salads. One of them was a orecchiette, prosciutto and melon. I grabbed it and spent the next five minutes inhaling it without speaking. It took a good 15 minutes for me to become human again and by then I was super curious about the pasta shape – it was delightful! Ever since then, orecchiette has been one of my favorite pasta shapes.

st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

This is the first time I’ve made orecchiette from scratch and actually, I didn’t really make it, I just shaped it. Mike was nice enough to knead the dough for me so I could do the fun part and shape them into little ears. They don’t take very long to cook and after a quick bath I tossed them in a golden tomato sauce. It doesn’t quite look like what I envisioned – I was hoping the “coins” would be more defined, but it was so, so delicious.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day friends! Hope it’s a lucky one :)

st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Orecchiette with Yellow Tomatoes and Bocconcini Recipe inspired by this recipe
serves 2


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces yellow tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces dried orecchiette or fresh orecchiette, recipe below
  • 8-12 baby bocconcini, sliced in half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, to finish

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes and cook, covered slightly. Swirl the pan often, until the tomatoes blister and start to burst, 10-12 minutes. Crush the tomatoes to release their juices and simmer, uncovered, to thicken slightly. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package if using dried pasta. If cooking the fresh orecchiette listed below, cook for 2-3 minutes, or until all of the orecchiette float. Drain pasta.

Transfer the orecchiette to the skillet with tomatoes; set over medium heat. Cook, stirring until sauce is thick and coats the pasta about 1 minute. Stir in the bocconcini, taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with basil and enjoy hot!

How to Make Orecchiette loosely adapted from Mario Batali
makes enough pasta for 2


  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Mix the two flours on a large work surface and create a well in the middle. Pour in a bit of the water and use your hands to mix, gradually bringing in flour from the edge of the well. Add the remaining water in batches until the dough comes together. Knead until elastic or use a stand mixer with a dough hook to knead until smooth and elastic. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest.

Shape the orecchiette by dividing the dough into manageable pieces. Keep the dough you’re not working with under plastic wrap. Roll out the dough into a long snake, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut off about 1 inch pieces and use a offset spatula or dull butter knife to press down and pull towards you. The pressure of you pushing down and pulling will curl the dough into a shell shape. Use your fingers to uncurl the shell shape and turn it inside out to form a “ear”. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough.

To cook, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Salt generously and add the orecchiette, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the orecchiette start to bob up and float. Taste to see if they’re cooked, drain and use as you please!

st. patrick's day pot of gold pasta - orecchiette with yellow tomatoes and bocconcini recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

6 Comments

  1. Orechiette are so cute! Also love to see an yellow tomato sauce for once..

  2. Tori says:

    I hope your day is lucky too! This pasta is absolutely perfect for celebrating today!

  3. Ok, this is the only way I’m celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! Beautiful!

  4. This looks really good! I’d love to attempt to make orecchitte! And I so understand the wanting to walk around cities and getting hangry while doing so. That’s definitely happened to me more than once!

  5. Allyson says:

    I love orecchiette, but have never successfully made it. I think I’m due for a repeat try. This looks fantastically good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *