What is Cavatelli Pasta?
In Italian, cavatelli means “little hollows.” This type of pasta somewhat resembles miniature hot dog buns and is relatively easy to make from scratch. You don’t need fancy equipment to create cavatelli, and it requires three simple ingredients: semolina flour, salt, and warm water. If you don’t have semolina flour, you can still make cavatelli with either all-purpose or bread flour.
This type of pasta is great for almost any Italian dish because it can easily mop up sauces. It doesn’t get much simpler than this, so get ready to try some of our favorite cavatelli pasta dishes.
1. Fresh Handmade Cavatelli Pasta
The author of this recipe has an Italian mother and gained a passion for cooking at a young age. You can bet that this homemade cavatelli is very authentic.
Get a clean work surface such as a cutting board or countertop and create a well in the middle of your flour. Sprinkle it with salt, and then add most of the warm water into the well. Use your hands to combine the water and flour until it creates a soft dough. Add more water as needed, but avoid adding too much because you don’t want the dough to turn sticky.
Knead your dough for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and form it into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. This step is crucial because without letting it rest, the dough won’t be as malleable.
Get a large baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Sprinkle with some semolina flour and set aside for your prepared pasta. Remove one-fourth of your dough and roll it into a thin sausage shape, about ½ an inch in diameter. Cut your dough into 1-inch lengths, pressing two fingers firmly on each dough piece, then drag it towards you.
Repeat these steps until you have used up all the pasta dough. Boil them for 8 to 10 minutes, and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
Get the full recipe and directions from Marcellinian Cucina.
2. Cavatelli and Broccoli
Cavatelli and broccoli are a match made in heaven. As a bonus, this recipe is vegetarian-friendly. You only need seven ingredients for this recipe, making it an easy meal you can throw together anytime. First, cut some broccoli heads into florets and blanch them in boiling water. Next, heat a large skillet with olive oil and saute minced garlic. Add the drained broccoli and cook them for about 10 minutes.
As the broccoli cooks, boil your cavatelli pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, then drain and mix it in a large bowl along with your broccoli. Season it with salt and crushed red pepper flakes, and add freshly grated parmesan on top just before serving. It’s that easy to make a meal out of cavatelli!
Get the full recipe and directions from All Recipes.
3. Cavatelli Pasta with Sautéed Cabbage & Chestnut Breadcrumbs
Enhance your cooking skills with this delectable cavatelli dish. The recipe calls for pumpkin cavatelli, but regular cavatelli works just as well. You will need a large saucepan and pot to cook this stovetop meal. First, add some chestnuts and olive oil to your pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Add panko breadcrumbs and constantly stir until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Have a paper towel-lined plate ready to spread your chestnut breadcrumbs on top, and set aside.
Wipe out the pan and cook half a green cabbage with some oil and garlic and add ½ a cup of water plus some red pepper flakes. While that is cooking, boil your cavatelli and cook it for 5 minutes. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water but drain the pasta thoroughly.
Next, pour the pasta in your pan with a bit of the pasta water plus mascarpone cheese and coat everything thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, and finally, garnish the dish with your breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
Get the full recipe and directions from Blue Apron.
4. Cavatelli with Sardinian Meat Sauce
This recipe is for all you meat lovers. You will need spicy Italian sausage, fresh parsley, and basil for this cavatelli dish. If you have fresh cavatelli on hand, feel free to use that. Otherwise, the author recommends using frozen cavatelli and not dried cavatelli. Dried cavatelli tends to get overcooked on the outside.
Get a large pan and remove the sausages from their casings. Use a utensil to break it up in the pan and cook the meat all the way through. Next, add olive oil, chopped onions, and minced garlic. Let everything cook until the onions are translucent, and finally, add your seasonings and tomato puree to create the sauce. Simmer your meat sauce mix for about 15 minutes to let it thicken.
In the meantime, boil your cavatelli for at least 10 minutes (if frozen) and reserve half a cup of pasta cooking water before draining the pasta. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and pasta water and sprinkle Parmesan cheese before serving.
Get the full recipe and directions from Food and Wine.
5. Baked Cavatelli
If you prefer having chunky pieces of Italian sausage in your pasta, try this recipe. This baked cavatelli is a cinch to put together. First, slice your sausage links into half-inch thick pieces and cook them in a large skillet along with diced onions and minced garlic. Let it cook until the sausage is brown, remove it from the skillet, and drain the fat.
Boil the cavatelli pasta and add it to a large bowl along with pasta sauce, the cooked sausages, and mozzarella cheese. Spread everything evenly into a 2-quart casserole dish and cover with tin foil. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes, add more shredded mozzarella on top and let it bake for 5 minutes uncovered until the cheese melts.
Get the full recipe and directions from food.com.
6. Cavatelli Pasta with Rocket Arugula
The author of this cavatelli recipe currently lives in Italy, and her dad is a native-born Italian. This dish is a classic Southern Italian favorite and is vegetarian-friendly. Either cavatelli or orecchiette pasta will work for this dish. Arugula is one of the healthiest vegetables you can find and adds bright green color. It also has more flavor than spinach and cooks quickly compared to most green lettuce varieties.
What makes this recipe unique is that you boil the pasta and arugula in the same pot, which cuts down on both your cooking time and dishes. Along with that, you will cook some passata with fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, red chili pepper, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large pan. So far, the cavatelli recipes on our list call for diced garlic; however, this one says to keep the garlic whole and let the flavor infuse into the sauce. You will remove the garlic before serving. This recipe truly is the total package.
Get the full recipe and directions from The Pasta Project.
7. Potato Cavatelli
Enjoy the texture of gnocchi with the shape of traditional cavatelli pasta in this recipe. Boil and mash russet potatoes and mix them in a stand mixer with canola oil, salt, flour, and eggs to create a cavatelli “dough.” You shape them the same way you would with regular pasta dough (see the first recipe above).
Boil the potato cavatelli for about 5 minutes until they rise to the surface of the water. You can choose to top it with pesto, melted butter, and parmesan, or a tomato-based sauce. Potato cavatelli is simple to make, and if you create a double or triple batch, you can store some in the freezer for later.
Get the full recipe and directions from NY Times Recipes.
As you can tell, fresh cavatelli pasta is not difficult to make. We hope you enjoy creating homemade cavatelli dishes very soon. Buon appetito!
If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Passatelli Recipes post.