Gluten Free Orecchiette with Pancetta and Peas

What are Orecchiette?

One of my favorite pasta shapes, orecchiette are a small, cup shaped pasta said to originate in the Puglia region of southern Italy.  Orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian.  You can see why!

Forming this rustic pasta is easy and kid friendly, everyone will enjoy making it as much as they love to eat it.

A little dough goes a long way!  This recipe was more than enough for the two of us, with a little left over.  You can double or triple the ingredients as needed.  Follow the easy steps, showing you just how to make this pasta along with the classic pairing of pancetta and peas!


For the pasta

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To finish


Whisk the egg, egg yolk and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the flour and salt and beat with the paddle attachment to form a soft dough.

Bring the dough together and wrap it in plastic wrap.  Rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 sections.  Work with one section at a time, and keep the remaining dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.

Lightly flour a cutting board and roll each section of dough into a rope, 3/4″ thick.  Use a bench knife to cut the ropes into 1/2″ pieces.

Roll each piece between your palms to form round, marble sized balls.

For the final shaping, use a knife to pull the dough ball toward you, like this.

Then place it over your thumb or fingertip, gently inverting it to form the “ear” shape.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper, and dust lightly with flour.  Place the finished Orecchiette on the baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not cooking immediately.

To finish the dish, render the pancetta in 2 tbsp. olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Add the peas, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and cook 5 minutes longer.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Lift the waxed paper and slide the pasta into the water.  Cook the Orecchiette 2-3 minutes, they are done when they float to the top.

Remove the orecchiette with a slotted strainer and toss with the pancetta and peas.  Add a ladle of pasta water if needed.

Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with grated cheese and garnish with fresh Italian parsley.

Notes ♪♫ This simple dish is made extra special with fresh, homemade pasta.  A wonderful project for a Sunday afternoon, it was a great way to end the weekend!

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Baby Back Ribs

I have been making Country Style Pork Ribs for years, and they are a family favorite.  While I love Baby Back Ribs, I’ve never made them at home.  For some reason I thought that really good Baby Back Ribs would require expensive BBQ equipment and complicated cooking techniques.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  In fact, I would say this was one of the easiest meals that I have made of late.  Since the preparation was mostly hands off, I had plenty of time to whip up a batch of my Homemade Gluten Free BBQ Sauce.  Of course that is optional, but when I make it I always get rave reviews.

The verdict on the ribs, amazing!  From now on I’ll be making these year-round.

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Preheat the oven to 275º.  That may sound low, but the secret to tender ribs is to cook them slowly on very low heat.

Remove the packaging and pat the ribs dry.  Turn the ribs meat side down and use a sharp paring knife to loosen the white membrane.  Once you have it started, use a paper towel to grasp the membrane and pull it off.  While not absolutely necessary, removing the tough membrane will result in the most tender ribs.  If you would rather not do this, be sure to pierce the membrane all over with a knife.

Season the rack with salt, pepper and creole seasoning.

Wrap the ribs in foil and place on a large baking sheet (to catch any drips).  Bake at 275º for at least 3 hours and up to 4 hours.

When the ribs are done, use tongs to carefully open the foil.

Brush with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve.  For other serving suggestions see my homemade Potato Chips and Gluten Free Corn Bread!

Notes ♪♫ Always watch for hidden gluten in sauces and seasonings.  The BBQ sauce is my own from scratch recipe which I make for special occasions.  If using store bought, I recommend Stubbs brand which is gluten free.

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Chicken Thighs with Andouille Sausage

Sometimes the addition of one or two ingredients can take a simple dish from ordinary to WOW!  In this recipe, the most basic of chicken dinners gets a spicy kick from Andouille sausage.  Made with smoked pork and cajun spices, just one link of Andouille sausage is enough to flavor the cooking oil that we use to brown the chicken and veggies.


  • 6 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 link Andouille sausage
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • creole seasoning
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 potato
  • olive oil
  • fresh chives, for garnish


Remove skin from chicken thighs (optional).  Place the thighs in a plastic bag with 1/4 cup cornstarch and shake to coat.  Heat an oven proof skillet over medium and add about 3 tbsp. olive oil.  Add the sausage and cook 1 minute to flavor the oil, then begin browning the chicken on all sides and sprinkle with creole seasoning.  Don’t crowd the pan.  If necessary, brown the chicken and sausage in 2 batches as I did.

Preheat the oven to 375º and mist a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.  Transfer the browned chicken and sausage to the baking dish and place in the oven.  Reserve the fat in the skillet.

Add the carrots, onion and potato to the skillet with the reserved fat.  Stir and toss to coat then sprinkle with creole seasoning.  Place the skillet in the oven.

Bake the chicken and veggies for 1 hour at 375º.  About half way through, remove any excess liquid from the chicken and reserve it for another dish (it makes a wonderful soup stock).  To serve, arrange the chicken and veggies on a platter and garnish with fresh chives.

We both loved this meal.  The chicken was moist and delicious with an unexpected pop of flavor from the Andouille!

Notes ♪♫ Look for sausage made with all natural ingredients, no preservatives, and no nitrites.  Today many brands carry a gluten free label.  If not, always check the ingredients and if you’re not sure, go to the manufacturer’s website and don’t hesitate to call or email them for more information.

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