Basic pasta dough recipe for cavatelli

There is something we have come to know over the years of making pasta. There are a whole host of different recipes for the pasta dough. For example, the following recipe for Cavatelli, uses a recipe somewhat unique to this particular pasta shape.

Let’s start by letting you know what cavatelli is. Cavatelli are a little like gnocchi in that they are shaped in a similar way.

Some of you may have a cavatelli shaper. We have one that can be attached to the kitchen counter. The pasta dough is prepared and with a turn of a handle, the little cavatelli forms drop out from beneath a pair of rolling wheels. Sounds simple, right?

Well, not really. During the long days of perfecting our pasta making, there were a number of dismal failures. These failures came down to one thing. The dough.

Dough for cavatelli needs to be light since each cavatelli form is quite dense, whether you use a machine, a fork or your fingers. Using only Tipo 00 flour results in a dough that is too soft. Using durum wheat flour results in a dough that is too tough. You may think that by adding egg to the dough will help but that’s not right either!

We spoke to cooks all over Italy who love to whip up a plate of cavatelli during the winter months as it is a great alternative to gnocchi. Following a great deal of research, we can bring you the following recipe for basic cavatelli pasta.

Basic pasta dough recipe for cavatelli

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flours.
  2. Add the water and using a fork, begin to combine.
  3. Add the oil and continue combining until a dough begins to form.
  4. Empty the dough onto a clean and lightly floured work surface.
  5. Knead gently until you have a smooth, soft dough.
  6. Cover with seran wrap and leave at room temperature for up to 10 minutes before forming into cavatelli.

Why does this recipe for pasta dough include olive oil?

The addition of extra virgin olive oil may seem a little strange. However, when making pasta by hand, particular pasta shapes benefit from a tiny drop of olive oil. It helps contribute to a good elasticity and aids the amalgamation of flours to produce a great pasta. You could experiment using some of our infused olive oils to add a little flavor and aroma.

We do not recommend you adding any more olive oil than the recipe calls for or for that matter, adding any olive oil to the cooking water. Too much oil with retard the cooking of the pasta, the result of which will not be pleasant at all!

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