- Lactose Free
- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 15 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Very low
- Note + 10 minutes for the pasta to rest
You can make so many tasty things just using water and flour! Fresh pasta, in all its forms, is one of these and is a great starting point for getting your creative juices flowing. Today, we’re bringing you a recipe for cavatelli, a type of fresh pasta made using semolina and no eggs that’s typical in the regions of Molise and Apulia, and also found elsewhere throughout southern Italy. An expert pair of hands and a bit of patience are all that’s needed to create these special little dumplings, which get their name from the fact that they have a little cavo, or hollow, in the middle, formed by lightly pressing your finger on the small piece of dough. With just a few ingredients and a bit of practice, you’ll be able to proudly bring your homemade pasta to the table. Cavatelli go perfectly with a wide range of sauces: tomato and ricotta salata, creamy potato and speck, or even a tasty seafood sauce.
How to prepare Cavatelli
To make the cavatelli, add the semolina and salt to a bowl and stir to combine1. Pour the water in slowly as you knead with your hands 2, continuing like this until the flour has absorbed all the water 3.
At this point, transfer the dough to a pastry board and work it for 5-10 minutes, folding it over itself to make it smooth 4. Shape the dough into a small ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and leave to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature 5. Take one portion from the ball of dough 6
Roll out this portion, creating a sausage shape around ¼ inch (6-7 mm) thick 7. Then cut this into pieces of around ?-½ inch (1 cm) 8. Use the long part of your thumb to help press down 9 and,
at the same time, drag the piece of dough forward 10: This is how you’ll get the first cavatello 11. You can also make them using your middle finger or pinkie. Keep dusting them with semolina so they don’t stick, and arrange them on a tray as you form them 12. Now your cavatelli are ready to be cooked and dressed with the sauce of your choice!
Once the cavatelli are ready, you can leave them to air dry for a few hours or freeze them: To freeze them, space them out on a tray dusted with semolina, place in the freezer, and then, once frozen, transfer them in batches to freezer bags. When you’re ready to use them, you can cook them straight from frozen in boiling water.
As you’re forming the cavatelli, keep the rest of the dough wrapped in plastic wrap or a dish towel so it doesn’t dry out. Semolina is perfect for making fresh pasta because it doesn’t absorb much humidity, making the dough more resistant.