Description: Cavatelli come in a few sizes and shapes. You can find them rolled on a gnocchi board to give them ridges or more rounded like the recipe here. Whether to use ridges or not comes down to the sauce.
Dough: Semolina Dough
Region: Southern Italy (Puglia, Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily)
Traditional Sauce: WIth meat or vegetables, typically with peas or broccoli.
Check out our Pancetta and Pea Cavatelli recipe here!
For portioning I do 100g of flour per person.
Homemade cavatelli made with a semolina pasta dough.
Prepare the pasta dough
Weigh out your flour and water, making sure the water is very warm. I aim for around 90-100 degrees F. Mix together in a bowl into a shaggy dough starts to form.See link in the description for more details on making the dough.
Knead the dough
Dump on a counter or wooden board and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be very elastic and spring back when touched and almost feel like playdough (see notes below). Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. While working with one piece at a time keep the rest covered with a damp kitchen towel to avoid the dough from drying out.
Roll the dough into a snake around 1/2" diameter. With a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 1/4" pieces depending on the final size you would like.
Shaping the Cavatelli
Place your thumb on the dough and drag width wise forming the shape.
It is best to shape the dough on a wood surface such as a cutting board. The wood allows just the right amount of friction. The dough would just slide across a marble counter.See gallery for detailed pictures.
Drying and Cooking
You can either cook the orecchiette fresh or dry it.
Fresh: Cook the cavatelli for around 5 minutes in heavily salted boiling water.
Dried: Let try completely for several hours or overnight. Depending on the humidity it may take upto a full day or more. Cook for 12-15 minutes in in heavily salted boiling water. Due to their shape and density they take much longer to cook dried. They should be al-dente but not hard in the middle.