Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homemade Ricotta Cavatelli

My Grandmother would be proud. Every time I use her cavatelli maker I feel like she is there with me. I remember making them with her on her wood dining table. She let me turn the handle of the machine and I got a big kick out of watching the pasta turn into cavatelli. I wish we thought of taking pictures or videos then. When I use the machine and get stuck I think of her saying, "I told you, you have to you a lot of flour!" I try to remember that and flour it up really well.

Sometimes it makes me really sad because Nanny isn't around to see how she influences every meal I make.  Even when I make something I knew she really wouldn't like, I am still thinking about her.
She had no idea how much she meant to me.  Even if it seemed like she did, she just didn't.  Hopefully she's looking down at me and she's happy to see what I've been doing.

I can't believe it took me so long to post this but I actually lost the recipe and couldn't remember where I found it.  Well it finally occurred to me and this post was all set up and ready to go.  The credit for the recipe goes to Deborah Mele of Italianfoodforever.com.  Check out her website for some great authentic Italian recipes!

To make the dough for the Cavatelli:


4 Cups All-purpose Flour (or 2 cups tipo "00" & 2 cups tipo "0")
1 Egg
1 Pound Full Fat Ricotta Cheese
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream


Place your flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add your other ingredients into the well and stir until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. You may also wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it until needed. This rest period is necessary to obtain the right texture of the dough.

To form the Cavatelli:

When ready to cut the cavatelli, first cut the dough in half and place one half on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/3 of an inch thick and cut into strips about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick. Flour a strip well, and using one hand, pass it through the wooden rollers, turning the crank clockwise with the other hand. The cavatelli will drop onto the counter after they are cut. Place the cavatelli on a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook. Cook cavatelli in large pot of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Like gnocchi, cavatelli will rise to the surface when cooked. Drain and top with your sauce of choice.

Pictures by Salvatore Corso.  Click here to see his amazing website. 


Annalisa said...

I love "cavatelli",what a lovely dish! Thank you for sharing Michele.
Big hugs,

Ciao Chow Linda said...

It's so touching how you are honoring your grandmother by keeping up these traditions. The cavatelli are really made with love and it shows.

Meeling said...

Great pictures!!! I love the personal aspect to the dish...that always makes things taste better!!

Thanks for sharing!

Niki said...

I am sure Your nanny is looking down on you and is very proud of you. Great job with the cavatelli, i love making these with my Nanny, she gave me her cavatelli maker, but i never get a chance to use it because every week she makes more and more and gives me so much!! :)

Ellie said...

My dads favorite dish. I have never made the cavatelli from scratch but I am going to now. Thanks :)

Claudia said...

Grandma would be so proud - touching entry with delicious results.

Patti T. said...

Another delicious recipe with a great back story. Our grandmothers all taught us so much didn't they?