Quick post tonight friends- getting ready to bid on a job and lots to do tonight
My mom made a special request today. She was in the mood for cavatelli and I got drafted. :)
Not a problem as I happen to love making cavatelli- so many wonderful memories come to me as I'm passing the dough through the well used wooden rollers of my machine. My Nonna used to use a very old wooden contraption, but after she passed no one could find it, so I purchased one in New York City that has served me well through the years. For the purposes of this post I just looked online and the machines are easily found for a reasonable price. One example is here
(For the record- I have no association with this company- I just Googled cavatelli machine and several popped up)
Cavatelli can be made with potatoes, ricotta, or just a pasta type dough. My Nonna loved them with ricotta, so that's what I made for my mom today.
From the weekend's trip to the Farmer's Market, I had zucchini, baby leeks, peppers, and some wonderful garlic chicken sausage. I julienned the vegetables and made a basic saute with olive oil while roasting the sausage in the oven. I divided the veggies and cut up the sausage.
The sausage and half the veggies became a pasta sauce (I added about half a cup of the pasta water to make it a bit creamier). If I'd have had any, some Kalamata or other oil cured olives would have been a lovely addition.
The other half of the vegetables were combined with some of the cavatelli and 8 eggs in my trusty cast iron skillet. When it was partially set, I dropped some very creamy Buratta on top (to read more about Buratta, go here ) on top and finished the frittata off in the oven. Voila! Tomorrow's lunch!
Basic Ricotta Cavatelli
3 1/2 Cups flour (I used 2 cups White Lily and 1 1/2 cups King Arthur)
1-2 eggs ( I used 1 extra large today- I've learned through practice what the dough should feel like)
1 lb. ricotta cheese- not low fat (I measured this today- it was about 2 cups)
salt- about a teaspoon
a scant half cup (maybe a third) of heavy cream (some use milk and that's fine. My Nonna always used the cream from the top of her fresh milk, so I use cream)
The dough can be mixed by hand as you would a pasta dough. Make a well in the flour and work in the liquid ingredients. I had some health issues a while back and simplified the way I do some things to avoid standing for long periods- so I now mix the dough in my food processor. I put the ricotta, eggs, salt , and cream in the processor and pulse to combine. Add the flour and pulse till it forms a ball. Turn onto a lightly floured board, knead lightly to form a smooth ball, and cover with plastic wrap and an overturned bowl. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
Divide dough in half and place one half on a lightly floured board- keep the other half covered. Roll the dough out into a rectangle a little less than 1/2 an inch thick. Cut into strips about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide. Put a plate under the cavatelli machine. Flour strips well, and pass each through the wooden rollers, turning the crank clockwise with the other hand. The cavatelli will drop onto the plate as they are cut. Place them on a lightly floured baking sheet ( I separate the layers with waxed paper), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to cook. Cook cavatelli in large pot of boiling well salted water. Cavatelli will rise to the surface when cooked- about 3-5 minutes. Drain and top with your sauce of choice. Or make a frittata! :)
Tutti a Tavola!!
Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie