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Orecchiette means "little ear," which is the shape of this rustic Puglian pasta of Italia shaped like tiny ears or bowls. The pasta is typically around 3/4 of an inch wide and dome shaped, with the middle being thinner than the outer edges. The difference in thickness gives it a texture that varies from soft in the middle to chewy on the outer edges. It is a pasta that holds sauces well and is a versatile pasta for chunky vegetable- and meat-based sauces.