Homemade cavatelli are eggless, oval-shaped pasta shells with a gap through the middle which is great for capturing the sauce. This pasta, originally from Puglia and Molise is still made by hand all over the region – especially by talented Nonna’s who have been perfecting the shape for years!
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How to Make CAVATELLI PASTA from Scratch
INGREDENTS (for 3-4 people)
300ml/1.26 cups warm water
500g/17.63oz semolina flour
Rolling pin OR pasta machine
Cavatelli pasta are best made using semolina flour, so start with 500g/17.63oz for a portion of 4.
Pour 500g/17.63oz semolina on a wooden bench, create a well, add water, a little bit at a time and mix into the semolina pinching the sides in, then mixing it through, to create a paste-like consistency.
Repeat this until the semolina pasta dough for your cavatelli has completely absorbed the water.
Start to knead the dough to bring it altogether and help improve the consistency.
When kneading, press using the palm of your hand, toward the front, fold back then repeat this motion.
Add more water if it feels too dry and keep kneading.
If the cavatelli dough feels sticky, add another sprinkle of semolina flour and knead through.
Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
How to roll out the homemade CAVATELLI PASTA
After your pasta dough has rested, check that it is soft and smooth then cut a piece and roll it out into a snake-like shape, using one hand to start with and then stretching it out with both.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: If your homemade cavatelli dough is a little sticky, sprinkle some semolina on your bench and then stretch the dough out on top of it.
Now, cut this into small pillows, similar to gnocchi, using your knife on an angle.
Using your knife, create the homemade cavatelli by pressing down on each pillow, and rolling it back.
Once it is rolled around the edge of the knife, remove it and it should retain its shape as a cavatelli by closing back in through the middle.
If you have a special board with ridges, you can also roll the homemade cavatelli on this using your finger, but I prefer just a simple knife! These are known as “Cavatelli Rigati”
Even simpler, you can use your finger to press down and roll back each pillow and this will also create the homemade cavatelli shape.
To dry the pasta, place it on top of a cooling rack (or similar), leaving a small gap in between each one.
Dry the pasta for a few hours at room temperature.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Dry the pasta in an area where the sunlight hits your bench during the day.
HOW TO SERVE:
Boil a large pot of water, add a pinch of sea salt and pasta then cook for 10-20 minutes (cooking time dependent upon the thickness and drying time).
Homemade cavatelli are best served with a vegetable sauce and traditionally paired with Cime di Rapa. You can also use a rich tomato sauce or even my delicious Basil Pesto.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy
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PASTA RECIPES: http://bit.ly/MyPastaRecipes
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