I LOVE making pasta. It’s truly one of the most relaxing activities I can think of. I love the repetition, the mindless zen of doing something with my hands, my mind pondering the not so deep mysteries of life. Things like, which pasta shape is the best pasta shape and what cheese is the cheese I can’t live without. To be honest, I’ve never figured out the answers to these questions. I love everything too much and I definitely suffer from acute indecision.

I used the basic 2:1 semolina flour to warm water pasta ratio. It’s incredibly forgiving, given that you feel the dough, knowing if you need a touch more or less semolina or water as needed depending on the day. A simple semolina and water dough is a super traditional way to make pasta. It’s the most basic pasta you can make and bonus, it has the best texture of all the homemade pastas, especially if you love your pasta with a bit of a bite. Egg pasta is deliciously delicate, but if you’re looking for that al dente texture you love from high quality bronze extruded pasta, you’re not going to get it from fresh egg pastas. With this recipe, you can save your eggs for soft scrambling and make semolina pasta – you won’t regret it.

Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

Semolina and water pasta dough is a Southern Italian specialty. It’s the dough you want for shaping hearty small shapes like orecchiette and cavatelli. It’s eggless and therefore vegan and perfect for drying out and saving because it’s just semolina and water. Unlike other fresh pastas with egg that need to be used right away or frozen, you can dry out semolina and water pasta and store it in the pantry. In fact, semolina and water pasta is exactly what store-bought pasta usually is.

I love how simple and versatile it is and how you can shape it into so many different pasta shapes. Of all of the pasta shapes that I’ve been making lately, I think one of the ones I’m most proud of are Sardinian lorighittas! They’re so pretty and because of the semolina dough, they hold up their shape incredibly well even after cooking. Lorighittas are the best shape: hand rolled, perfectly al dente, braided ropes with twists and turns, and nooks and crannies. They hold up to a flavorful sauce wonderfully.

Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Make Semolina and Water Pasta Dough

All you need to make semolina pasta is semolina flour and very warm water. Semolina is made from durum wheat and looks like a coarse grain. It’s pale yellow and because it’s from durum, which is a hard wheat, it holds up well when cooked.

Generally, most people say it’s about 100 grams of flour per person, but you might need a touch more or less depending on the humidity of the day. With lorighittas you want your dough to be supple and rested. You’ll need to knead the dough a bit more than usual to develop the gluten, then let the gluten relax so the dough is nice and pliable so you can easily roll it out and twist.

I like to use a stand mixer to do all the heavy work, but if you want to knead by hand, that totally works too.

The first step is boiling some water. Semolina flour can be difficult to work with if you don’t use warm water so you’ll want to boil some water and then leave it off the heat while you measure out your flour.

After you heat up the water, measure out your semolina flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and make an indent in the middle of the bowl using the back of a spoon.

Pour the very warm water into the indent and use a fork (I like using chopsticks because I feel like it incorporates the flour better) to slowly whisk the flour into the water gradually, slowly incorporating the flour, little by little, until a dough starts to form. When everything starts to come together, switch to the dough hook and knead on low for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and supple. Alternately, you can turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. If needed, you might have to add a couple of drops of water or a bit more semolina flour to the dough. You want a not sticky dough, one that is soft and just a tiny bit tacky but not at all sticky. When the dough is done being kneaded, wrap in plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag and let rest for at least an hour.

Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Shape Lorighittas

The best surface to use to shape pasta is an unfinished wooden board because they wood draws out any excess moisture the pasta dough has in it. I use a wooden cutting board because I don’t have a dedicated pasta board and it works great.

When you’re shaping lorighittas you want to work quickly so your dough doesn’t dry out. But at the same time, you don’t want your dough to be too moist because the braiding will be indistinct. Lightly dust your work surface with semolina flour and then cut off a small portion of pasta dough, leaving the rest covered.

Use your palms to roll the dough out into a thin rope about 1/8 of an inch thick. Take the dough rope and wrap it around your index, middle, and ring finger twice making two loops. Detach any excess dough and use your fingertips to gently connect the two loose ends. Twist to interlace/braid then set aide on a tray lightly dusted with semolina. Repeat until you’re done with the dough. If you’re having trouble interlacing, think of it as two circles: gently hold one circle and take the other and move it under and over the stationary circle. Once all the lorighittas are shaped, you can let them dry a bit or cook them right away.

I first saw this shape on Pasta Grannies and then they popped into my Instagram feed via Pasta Social Club and now I feel like I’ve been seeing them everywhere. I kind of want to make a massive amount and dry them out properly then pop them into a homemade box designed to look like our very own brand of pasta. LOL. Anyway, I hope you give them a try, they are very fun to make and so chewy and good to eat!

Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

PS – Here’s a fun Bon Appetit video that shows you eight shapes traditionally made with semolina and water pasta dough!

PPS – Try pairing your fresh lorighittas with some of these sauces: the ultimate bolognese, caramelized pork belly, lamb ragu, garlic sausage parm, pork sugo, or ragu modenese.

Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

Semolina Lorighittas Recipe

Just semolina and water make this perfectly al dente fresh lorighittas, Sardinian braided ring pasta
Serves 2
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 200 grams semolina flour plus extra for dusting
  • 100 grams warm water

Instructions

  • Place 200 grams of semolina flour into a bowl and make well in the middle. Pour the warm water into the well and use a fork to whisk the water, slowly incorporating the flour, little by little, until and dough starts to form. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour. Alternately, place the semolina flour into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk in the water and knead with a dough hook on low for 8-10 minutes. When the dough is supple and elastic, wrap with plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag and rest for 1 hour.
    Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • When the dough has rested, cut off a small portion, leaving the rest of the dough covered. Lightly dust your work surface with some semolina flour. It’s best to make pasta on an unfinished wooden board so if you have a large wooden cutting board, this would be best. Use the palms of your hands to roll out into a thin rope. 
    Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Take the end of the rope and twine it around three fingers twice to make two rings. Detach the end of the rope and connect the two ends of the pasta together. Interlace to braid/twist. Set aside on a lightly semolina dusted tray and repeat until you’ve used all the dough. The lorighittas can dry out before cooking so don’t worry about covering them after they are shaped.
    Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lorighittas and stir. Let cook until they start floating to the surface. The time will depend on how long your dried your pasta out for. Take one out and taste it to make sure it’s cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to scoop them all out and sauce with your favorite sauce.
    Super Simple Two Ingredient Semolina Pasta | www.iamafoodblog.com

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Thanks for reading as always!
-Steph & Mike