Old-Fashioned Cavatelli Pasta Recipe


If you’re a pasta lover, then you’re in for a treat with this delicious cavatelli pasta recipe. Cavatelli is a type of pasta that originated in Southern Italy and has a unique shape reminiscent of little shells. It’s a versatile pasta that pairs well with a variety of sauces and ingredients. This recipe will guide you through the process of making homemade cavatelli pasta from scratch, allowing you to enjoy the satisfaction of creating this Italian delicacy in your own kitchen.


To make cavatelli pasta, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Follow these step-by-step instructions to make homemade cavatelli pasta:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  2. Pour the lukewarm water and olive oil into the well. Using a fork, gradually incorporate the flour into the liquids until a dough starts to form.
  3. Once the dough comes together, transfer it onto a clean, floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
  5. After the resting period, divide the dough into smaller pieces. Take one piece and roll it into a long rope about 1/2 inch in diameter.
  6. Cut the rope into small equal-sized pieces, around 1/2 inch in length. These will be your cavatelli pasta shapes.
  7. To shape the cavatelli, take one piece and press it against the tines of a fork, then roll it back towards you. This will create a shell-like shape with ridges on one side and a thumbprint on the other. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
  8. Once all the cavatelli are formed, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for about 3-4 minutes or until they float to the surface.
  9. Drain the cooked cavatelli and serve with your favorite sauce or toppings.


Q: Can I use a pasta machine to make cavatelli?

A: Traditional cavatelli is shaped by hand, but if you have a pasta machine with a cavatelli attachment, you can certainly use it to speed up the process.

Q: How do I store homemade cavatelli pasta?

A: Once the cavatelli pasta is shaped, you can freeze it on a baking sheet and then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. It will keep well for up to 3 months.

Q: What sauces go well with cavatelli pasta?

A: Cavatelli pairs well with a variety of sauces, such as tomato-based sauces, pesto, Alfredo, or even a simple garlic and olive oil sauce. Feel free to get creative with your choice of toppings and ingredients.

Q: Can I make cavatelli pasta dough in advance?

A: Yes, you can make the cavatelli pasta dough in advance and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. Just make sure to bring it back to room temperature before shaping and cooking.

Q: How many servings does this cavatelli pasta recipe make?

A: This recipe makes approximately 4 servings, but you can easily adjust the quantities depending on your needs.

Now that you have this authentic cavatelli pasta recipe, it’s time to unleash your inner Italian chef and enjoy a homemade pasta dish that’s sure to impress. Whether you choose to pair it with a classic marinara sauce or experiment with your own creations, this versatile pasta will provide a delightful culinary experience. So gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy the flavors of Italy right in your own kitchen. Buon appetito!

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