An 'orecchietta' is a disc of about 2 cm (3/4 of an inch) and looks like a small dome with its center thinner than its edge and with a rough surface. Like other kinds of home-made pasta, orecchiette are made with durum wheat, water and salt, but unlike other pasta fresca (pasta all'uovo), eggs are rarely used in the preparation of orecchiette. In Southern Italy women, young or old, sit indoor (or outdoors in the spring) and make the dough into small cylinders, which they cut into little cubes. Then they press down each cube with their right thumb, dragging it on the board, thus making it curl slightly [at this stage you have a 'strascinata']. Then they insert their thumb on the reverse side, making it pop out with a little convex, rough bulge.
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