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We don’t know for sure the origins of cavatelli but they are surely from the south and are made in Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria. These small gnocchi made from fine grind semolina and warm salt water are popular throughout Italy and one time were sauced very modestly with oil and garlic. In Puglia, arugula and olive sauce, and in Basilicata, cime di rape. Cavatelli also go by many dialect names including cavatel, gavadel, cavatieddi, cavateel. Use a cavatelli maker or make them by hand.

Serves 8 to 10 as a first course.


For the Dough

2 1/2 cups fine durum semolina flour (10 1/2 ounces)

3/4  cup warm water (approximately)

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Sauce

1/4 cup Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

1 cup diced prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt to taste

Grinding black pepper

1 cup cooked fava beans

1/3 cup grated Grana Padano cheese


For the Dough
Heap the flour on a work surface.

Dissolve the salt in the water

Make a well with the flour, add the water and make a dough that is fairly stiff. Add more flour or water as needed.

Knead the dough until smooth like bread dough. Rest the dough covered for 30 minutes then cut dough into 6 pieces and roll under the palm of your hand to create a log that is the thickness of your thumb and 14 inches long.

Coat each log well in flour to prevent them from sticking as you feed them through the cavatelli rollers. As they form, place them on floured towels in single layers.

To make them by hand cut each log into 1/8-inch pieces

With a butter knife draw each piece of dough across a cutting board, leaving it with an indentation and place as above on floured towels.

You can freeze them on the trays and then transfer to plastic bags once hard or cook them immediately.

For the Sauce
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a two quart sauce pan. Add the prosciutto and cook until crispy. Transfer to a dish and set aside. In same pan, stir in the garlic and cook until it softens. Add the fava beans, salt and pepper and cook just until the fava beans are heated through. Add the cavatelli and toss with the beans.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Note:  You may also make this sauce with lima beans.

This recipe is featured on show 2214 – Pugliese Pasta / La Pasta Pugliese.

We used a Cucina Pro #530 Cavatelli Maker to form our pasta.


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