With friends visiting recently from the US, I asked if they would carry over a cavatelli roller I ordered online. When they arrived, I treated them to a meal of homemade cavatelli with homemade pesto sauce and chorizo.
Cavatelli is a type of pasta. Roughly translated as “little cave” or “little cavity,” the pasta looks like miniature hot dog buns or, less favorably, maggots. But the shape is ideal for capturing sauce and being freshly made, they have a nice chewiness that you can’t find from dried pasta.
One classic version of cavatelli is made with ricotta cheese. That’s the version I tried and the resulting pasta is light and yet rich-tasting. After mixing the flour, ricotta, and one egg, you can still see flecks of the cheese in the dough.
The dough is given a short kneading, but not nearly as much as most rolled out pasta. It is important that the dough be allowed to rest before you roll it out and cut it. It is also important that this dough be very dry. (Since you’ll ask, I was wearing gloves because I nicked my hand with a knife. Decided to wear gloves on both hands just to avoid the Michael Jackson look.)
After the dough has rested, you cut it into strips about one inch wide. You must liberally flour the strips so it does not gum up the cavatelli roller. That’s a mess that is hard to clean up so best not to mess it up to begin with.
The final step is to hand-crank the strips of dough through the machine. It is a clever little contraption that cuts off a length of dough, squishes it through two wooden rollers, presses it around a curve (adding the ridges at the same time) and then knocks the pasta off. This first attempt, the pasta was a little too moist and the pieces kept sticking requiring me to manually knock them off the last bar. The next attempt, I made the dough drier.
The end result was fantastic: hearty and toothy and very satisfying. Sure, there was a cloud of flour in the kitchen that required cleaning up, but that’s part of the fun.
Looks good— and like fun. Next week, I’m going to make gluten-free lasagna. I found a good recipe for the pasta which has turned out well every time. I’m going to try it with brown rice flour this time.
How did you know I was going to ask about the gloves? I thought you were going for a biker look or perhaps S&M. The dish looks very good and despite just having finished breakfast, I want to try some now.
My first thought was that these were maggots. haha. I am impressed with the black Latex gloves.
Haha I like your sense of humour – I immediately thought they looked like maggots and wasn’t sure if I could say it. And now I’ve got Smooth Criminal on my head. Aye.
It looks yum.
It took me a while to convince Mary those are not maggots. I’m sure they are delicious though.
cool!! I thought maggots at first, too! I admire your bravery for attempting what seems like a tough dish (well in my mind for sure). Nothing tastes like fresh pasta!
Oh thank goodness as when I first looked at it I thought it may be maggots or some kind of cooked worm.
After I read and looked at the photos of the pasta being made it looked much better.
just a side-note:… I WANT MORE of that. so yummy 😉
I have never made my own pasta before, but I would like to attempt it one day.
Also, as a side note, I recently nominated your blog for a Liebster Award. If you are interested, feel free to check it out. It’s mostly just a thank you for writing and sharing!
made it to wordpress! hope to post more often from now on! =)