Cavatelli are a fresh pasta format typical of Puglia and Molise, whose paternity is actually disputed by many southern Italian regions.
They are small, hollowed-out gnocchetti made from water and durum wheat semolina that, thanks to their peculiar shape and rough, porous surface, lend themselves well to meat sauces and condiments of all kinds.
Making them at home requires love for the art of pasta making and skilled hands, but with our suggestions even those new to the kitchen can achieve more than satisfactory results.
- 200 grams/ 1.5 cups of semolina or ground durum wheat/ grano duro
- 25 grams / 1/4 cup of regular flour or soft wheat flour
- pinch of salt
- 125 grams or 3/4 cup warm water
In a bowl mix the salt & both flours together, add in warm water and mix with a fork.
Dump onto a board and begin kneading.
Adjust the consistency as needed.
The dough should have a firmness to it, not mushy, however not as hard as a ball.
Continue kneading, until you have a nice smooth springy dough (8-10 minutes by hand).
Wrap it in plastic and allow to rest at least an hour.
Make a snake about the width of a pencil.
Cut into segments as long as your thumb is wide. …..
Now you can either use your thumb or a knife for this next step.
To begin shaping cavatelli, stick your right thumb up and then turn hand so thumb is pointing left.
Maintaining even pressure, use thumb to push a piece of dough forward and up, like an airplane taking off.
The dough should spring up and form around the curve of your thumb.
Use a bench scraper or knife to transfer cavatelli to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and sprinkled with semolina, making sure no pieces of pasta touch.
Continue until all dough is used.
Let pasta dry slightly, 30-45 minutes. (You can then freeze in a single layer. Once frozen place in plastic freezer bag and will keep about a month.)
In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil and drop in cavatelli.
Boil the pasta. It should take about 4-6 min depending on the size of your cavatelli.
Just keep taking one out and testing! Serve with the sauce of your choice.