Cavatelli, “little caves” in Italian, are even more delicious homemade! The kind you buy in a store just doesn’t compare to homemade!
Cavetelli is definitely one of my favorite pasta shapes to make and to eat! Plump and light, they are worth the extra time it takes to make them from scratch!
It takes just four simple ingredients to make these! The dough is quick and easy to put together!
I have a cavatelli maker, but I prefer to make them by hand. It is fast to do, and I like the way that indentation, the “cave” part, comes out made by hand rather than by machine. They are more “plump” made by hand than made by machine.
You can flash-freeze the cavatelli for ten minutes in a sheet pan, then put them in a freezer bag and keep them frozen for a later time when you have that craving for homemade cavatelli!
Grab the nearest person and make a double batch! Kids love to make them too!
See pictures how to make them in the slideshow below.
- 2½ – 3 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- In a large bowl, mix 2 ½ cups of the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the mound of flour. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and eggs.
- Add this to the well of the flour mixture and use your hands to mix it into a dough. Add more flour if necessary to make a soft, but not sticky dough.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is smooth and form it into a ball.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap or an inverted bowl and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Cut the ball of dough into quarters, then cut the quarters into halves to make eight pieces of dough.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long rope about one-quarter inch in diameter.
- Cut the rope into one-half inch pieces.
- With your index finger and middle finger together, press down on each piece of dough, beginning at the top and moving downwards, dragging your fingers towards you. This will make the cavatelli roll over itself and make the “little cave” indentation.
- Transfer the cavatelli to a lightly floured sheet pan, keeping them separated. Let the cavatelli dry at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Fill a large pan with salted water on top of the stove. Bring the water to a boil over the highest heat and then add in the cavatelli.
- Cook the cavatelli 8-10 minutes. They are done when they float up to the top.
- Drain the water.
- Mix your favorite tomato sauce with the cavatelli.
- Serve with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
I posted this recipe on my website in June, 2014 and updated it to a new format in August, 2022.