Cavatelli are a traditional Southern Italian pasta shape typical to the regions of Molise and Puglia. Pasta fatta in casa, or homemade pasta, is simply prepared with farina di semola rimacinata - twice milled durum wheat, best known in the US as semolina flour, water and a little salt. Each tiny morsel of pure goodness is quickly shaped by hand. Not only are cavatelli a perfect white canvas then prepared and tossed with a great variety of delicious sauces, but they are also a magical unifying tradition for any family to adopt. Old and young are welcome to sit around the kitchen table and learn the traditions of the past from grandparents and aunts. Conversations and listening skills are fostered as each person is immersed in this old skill that we don't want to lose.
As we are asked to be confined to our home during this unprecedented worldwide pandemic, and having time to gather around the kitchen table, let's make the most of it as we get to create something delicious while being together. It is definitely a gift worth taking advantage of.
Fork for mixing
Trey to set cavatelli on
250 grams Farina di Semola Rimacinata Molino Denti - In the USA Durum Wheat Semolina Flour
125 grams warm water
1/8 teaspoon salt
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Place the semolina flour on a clean work surface and add salt, mixing everything together.
Place hand in the center of the mound and create a well.
Begin to add part of the lukewarm water and a drizzle of olive oil in the center of the well. Doing this will keep the water from spilling out.
With a fork or simply with one hand, mix the flour and water together.
Bring the dough back together forming a new well, and continue adding water, slowly incorporating in all the flour.
Once all the water has been well incorporated begin kneading the dough with both hands as shown in the video.
Work the dough for 8 - 10 minutes until nice and smooth. Initially the dough may seem a bit dry, but continue kneading as it will come together.
Cover the formed pasta dough with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
After it has rested, cut a small portion of dough and roll it out into a long cylinder, about 1 centimeter thick (1/2 an inch).
Cut small penny sized portions from the rope like cylinder.
With the help of a smooth, thin butter knife, press down on the outer edge of the dough, the one furthest away from you, and drag the knife over the small piece of dough toward you. Make sure the knife is at a 45° angle. The dough will curl around the knife as you press and drag. One of the most fun and satisfying parts of making cavatelli, is to flick them away from you when they are shaped, while at the same time repeating the same process with a new piece of dough.
Place the cavatelli on a semolina floured tray. They can be immediately boiled in salted water, or dried for later use. Enjoy!