Today we are making Cavatelli! Similar to gnocchi, it is one of the easiest pasta shapes to create at home. It is a relaxing process, and in my mind I am transported back to a time when Italian ladies gathered around the table shaping pasta by hand for Sunday Pranzo. Once you get into the rhythm, assembly goes quickly. 4 Servings.
- 1 egg
- 8 oz. part skim ricotta
- 90 g. semolina flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 90 g. whole wheat pastry flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 180 g. “00″ flour (about 1 cup)
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp. ice water
* Note: as an alternative you can use 2 cups of All Purpose Flour
To mix the dough, whisk together the egg and ricotta with a pinch of salt. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment gradually add the flour mixture. Add ice water, one tablespoon at a time if needed to bring the dough together. It will look crumbly, like this.
Now wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step!
After 30 minutes, look how the dough has changed. Soft and well hydrated, the dough is ready for rolling.
Use a bench knife to divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.
Work with one section at a time, keeping the rest covered in plastic wrap so the dough does not dry out. Roll each section into 2 ropes, 1/2″ thick and 1 ft. long.
Use a bench knife to cut the rope into pieces about 1/2″ thick.
Next, use the palm of your hand to roll each piece into a 2″ cylinder, like this.
Now they resemble the familiar cavatelli shape, and we are ready for the final step.
Using a butter knife, make an indentation in the center.
Now roll from side to side in a “C” motion. I used a gnocchi board to create ridges, but you can certainly shape them with butter knife alone.
Now that you have learned the process, continue rolling, cutting and shaping the cavatelli. Place them on a large tray lined with wax paper and sprinkle with just a little flour.
Look how beautiful!
Place the cavatelli in the refrigerator for about an hour. You can store in the refrigerator for several days, or freeze them. When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes, don’t overcook! The cavatelli will float to the top when done.
Drain well and transfer to a serving platter. They look fantastic!
Top with your favorite sauce. Here I’ve prepared an easy meat sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic and Italian sausage.
Finish with parsley and grated cheese. What a meal! Three of us polished this off along with homemade bread. I will be making this again very soon, I think it would be the perfect primo piatto for Easter dinner! Give it a try at your house. Your comments are welcomed.
The Extruded Noodle ©