Monday, July 11, 2011

Meatless Monday: Homemade Cavatelli Pasta

Homemade Cavatelli Pasta

This is my favorite kitchen experiment of late: making homemade cavatelli pasta!

Yes, it's a bit labor intensive, but it reminded me of being a kid and messing around with Playdoh. Rolling it into ropey tubes. Running a pasta cutter over it. Mashing it with a fork. Now what's better than that? I guess that fact that you get to eat it when you're finished. Not so with Playdoh...

Cavatelli are a type of pasta that resemble a dumpling, typically made with flour and water. Sometimes, as with this recipe, ricotta is added to the dough. While similar to gnocchi, they differ in that gnocchi is made from a softer dough that incorporates potatoes. This recipe was adapted from Eating Cleveland, which has fabulous pictures and step by step instructions on making the pasta by hand. Definitely check it out!

I topped my cavatelli with a vegetarian Mushroom Ragu Sauce (recipe coming next week), but any pasta sauce should work.  Enjoy!

Homemade Cavatelli Pasta
Adapted from Eating Cleveland
Makes 4-6 servings
Cooking time: about 50 minutes, including 30 minutes of resting time
Print Recipe

  • 16 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 cups (1 pound) All Purpose Flour 

  1. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Drop the 2 eggs and the ricotta cheese into the well. Using a circular motion, slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs and cheese.
  3. Once all of the flour has been combined with the eggs and cheese, knead the dough together until a soft, but not sticky dough is formed. It can depend on the day, but if the dough still remains sticky add more flour.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least a half an hour.
  5. After half an hour has elapsed, take your ball of dough and divide it into quarters.
  6. Working with one quarter at a time, lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide it into quarters again.
  7. Take a piece of the divided dough (now and 1/8 of the original amount) and roll it into a long tube 1/4 inch in diameter. Some people find it easier to work the dough into a tube while holding it in the air and spinning it back and forth between their palms.
  8. Divide the tube into pieces 1 inch long with either a pastry cutter or a knife.
  9. Using the edge of a butter knife or pastry cutter, with the device at a 45 degree angle, press on each piece of dough and pull across the length of it.  You find that the motion causes the dough to curl up the edge of the device. This process is definitely easier to understand with the pictures below. If you don’t get it at first, don’t be discouraged. Just keep working with the dough, using different amounts of pressure on the dough.
  10. When you are done with each cavatelli, have a lightly floured pan near by so you can toss them in and move on to the next. 
  11. To cook, drop the cavatelli into a pot of salted boiling water for about 5-7 minutes. When they are finished cooking, they will float to the top of the water. Strain and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Enjoy!
Note on storing cavatelli: There are two options for storing  cavatelli: the refrigerator or the freezer.  To store cavatelli in the fridge, let them dry a bit on the counter, at least an hour. Once you’re sure they won’t stick together any longer, pack them into a Ziploc bag and stick them in the fridge. Make sure you use them within a week. However, the  best option for storing your cavatelli is by far the freezer. Once you are done with your cavatelli making, place your pan into the freezer for a half an hour. That should be long enough to allow the cavatelli to tighten up a bit and they should no longer stick together. Then, place  the chilled cavatelli in a Ziploc freezer bag and store them in your freezer for up to a year.


  1. I'm inspired. I've thought about making my own pasta for awhile... and this requires no machine. Perfect. Especially with a yummy Mushroom Ragu. Can't wait for that :)

  2. You'll love it! I had such a blast making this pasta. It really is like playing with Playdoh! I still have half a batch in my freezer that I may cook up with pesto, potatoes, and green beans this week.


  3. Looks fantastic. Great to meet you at Robata Jinya - It was a pleasure speaking to you.
    best regards,
    Jon -