Home made Cavatelli are a type of pasta originating from Southern Italian prepared with semolina flour and water. This type of pasta is versatile: its shape and texture mix well with many types of sauces.
For today’s recipe we have seasoned the Cavatelli with shellfish (mussels) and legumes (cannellini), following a traditional Mediterranean – Apulian recipe. The strong flavour of these thin with a tender and floury heart beans goes well with the mussels.
So, roll up your sleeves and let’s prepare the Cavatelli.
INGREDIENTS for 4 servings:
For the cavatelli dough;
300 g (1 1/3 cups ) of durum reground semolina flour + more for dusting
−180 g (3/4 cups) of warm water
For the seasoning;
1 kg mussels
8-10 cherry fresh tomatoes
300 g cannellini beans, boiled and drained
a bunch of parsley, rinsed and finely cut
1 garlic clove
freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
How to make home-made Cavatelli:
Sift the flour in a bowl or on a wooden surface. Add water in the middle of the sifted flour, and very gradually mix it in with your fingers. Remember to use warm water, it helps to develop the gluten and make the dough more elastic.
Knead until the dough is smooth (about 10 minutes). If the dough still crumbles, just wet your hands and continue kneading.
Cut the dough in small portions and roll each portions into long cylinders. They should be around 1 cm thick. The dough dries quickly, so keep it covered with a towel or plastic wrap and work the small portions at a time.
With a knife cut the roll into ∼1 cm long segments (approximately your thumb width) and shape the cavatelli individually, one at a time (see the video below).
Dust the prepared Cavatelli with some flour to keep the pasta from sticking together. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough. Let the pasta dry slightly, about 30-45 minutes.
To make the seasoning:
Rinse the mussels well under cold water many times. Pull off any beards and discard broken or open mussels.
In a large wok pan, saute’ 4 tbsp of oil, garlic, tomatoes and half of the parsley for around 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes soft but not colored. Add the beans, toss with a wooden spoon and let cook for around 10 minutes at medium heat. Remove the garlic.
In another large pan heat the remaining oil, add the mussel and, at high heat, let them rest for al least 5 – 6 min. You will notice that they will start to open. Discard the closed mussels. Remove the mussels from the valves as soon as possible, and add them to the pan with the sauce. Filter the liquid in the pan and pour it in the sauce.
Fill a big pot with water and bring it to a boil. When it is boiling, add salt and drop in the Cavatelli. Stir the pasta and cook it for a few minutes, until they are “al dente”. Drain the Cavatelli, and place them into the wok pan. Let cook for a few minutes while tossing with a spoon. Finish with parsley, pepper and enjoy it!