Homemade Ricotta Cavatelli made with Broccoli Rabe and Beans. This is a variation of the recipe
Orecchiette with Spinach and Navy Beans
Cavatelli are a type of pasta from southern Italy; they are traditionally made by hand. The dough is rolled out into long ropes that are cut into bite-sized pieces. Each piece is then flattened by thumb and rolled to form the curved, hotdog bun-shaped pasta. The dough can be made with semolina or all-purpose flour and ricotta is often added to dough as well. Cavatelli are often served with thick, chunky sauces because their shape holds the sauce well. Broccoli is a favorite ingredient used with cavatelli pasta, as in the classic recipe Broccoli with Cavatelli.
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter.
2. Then cut the rope into 1/2 to 5/8-inch pieces.
3. Lightly flour a gnocchi/garganelli board.
Place one of the pieces of dough on the dough and press it into an oval shape
4. Place your thumb at the bottom of the oval, press down and roll your thumb to the top of the oval.
5. The piece of dough should roll over on itself forming one cavatelli.
6. Place the completed cavatelli on floured baking sheets until you are ready to cook them.
Cooking the Cavatelli
Fresh cavatelli only take a few minutes to cook in a saucepan of boiling, salted water. You’ll know when they are done because they will float. Always make sure to taste one before you take it off the heat to be sure that it is as tender as you would like. Frozen cavatelli will take just a bit longer to cook, abour 5 - 7 minutes. Again, you will know when they are done because they will float to the top.
Freezing the Cavatelli
If you will not be cooking the cavatelli within a day or two, it is best to freeze them. Once you are done with your cavatelli making, place the cavatelli on the baking sheets into the freezer for about an hour. This will prevent the cavatelli from sticking together once they are placed in bags or containers.
Place the chilled cavatelli in freezer bags or containers and store them in your freezer for up to 6 months.
PASTA RECIPES > ARTISAN PASTA > HOW TO MAKE RICOTTA CAVATELLI
The ridges on this 8-inch board give gnocchi its traditional shape and leave impressions on the pasta, allowing pasta to better hold the sauce that it's served with. Keep the board well floured when forming the cavatelli, and you will soon be making professional-looking cavatelli.
RECOMMENDED FOR MAKING CAVATELLI
How to Make Ricotta Cavatelli
(Makes about 2 pounds)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ricotta cheese
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. In another bowl combine the ricotta and eggs. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour. With a wooden spoon, stir to combine the ingredients. Then use your hands to mix and knead the mixture into a smooth ball of dough. Wrap the dough in plastic, or cover it with a towel; allow it to rest for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 6 to 8 pieces. Remove one piece at a time, rewrapping the remaining dough so it doesn't dry out. On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Then cut the rope into 1/2 to 5/8-inch pieces.
Lightly flour a gnocchi/garganelli board. Place one of the pieces of dough on the dough and press it into an oval shape (it doesn't have to be perfect.) Place your thumb at the bottom of the oval, press down and roll your thumb to the top of the oval. The piece of dough should roll over on itself forming one cavatelli. Continue making all the cavatelli in this manner. Keep the gnocchi board and your fingers well floured throughout the process to keep the dough from sticking. You can adjust the size of your cavatelli by just making the initial dough ropes larger or smaller or cutting the pieces a little larger or smaller.
Place the completed cavatelli on floured baking sheets until you are ready to cook them. They can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.