Fresh Cavatelli - With the Little Mamma Italian Made Cavatelli Maker
An elongated, slightly cylindrical pasta cavatelli are formed by small discs of pasta gently folded over to create a long, hollow crease or gorge creating a shape that is most often described as being like a “tiny hot dog bun” - making cavatelli the perfect pasta for thick, hearty and chunky sauces, and an excellent pasta for winter seasons or chilly months of the year.
Although the etymology of Cavatelli today depends on who you ask - with different sources explaining the name through a loose translation of “little hollows”, “small gouges” the verb “to carve” or my personal favorite “tiny quarries” - what is clear is that Cavatelli’s unique shape is both it’s namesake and best attribute.
Unlike the common egg pasta recipes that are now widely available, Cavatelli is made with only flour and water - traditionally semolina flour, though many different types of flour, such as spelt, are commonly used - making it a great choice for vegan pasta lovers looking to make fresh pasta. Although less common, recipes are widely available for “ricotta cavatelli”, similar to the delicious ricotta gnocchi. With the increasing popularity of producing fresh ricotta at home (much like we did for our Gluten-Free Lactose Free lasagna recipe), ricotta cavatelli can be tasty and hearty - though, unlike its traditional counterpart, very much not vegan friendly.
Whether making using the more traditional semolina flour + water pasta dough, or making ricotta cavatelli, arguably the most labour intensive step is forming the small cavatelli themselves. Once prepared and rested, cavatelli dough must be cut into smaller sections and rolled out into long, thin strands or “logs”, then individually cut and shaped either by hand, or with a cavatelli maker - much faster and efficient. Here at Consiglio’s, to shape our cavatelli we use the Italian-made Little Mamma Cavatelli maker from Italy.
A simple, table mounted cavatelli maker using a series of rollers and a rotating cutting arm, the Miss Peppa cavatelli maker turns long strands of pasta into individually formed cavatelli quickly and easily. The “little logs” of dough are fed into one side of the unit, fed through the rollers (for shaping), cut into uniform pieces and fed out the other side - all powered by the turn of a single crank handle!
While many cavatelli makers available on the market use wooden rollers, Miss Peppa uses sturdy, corrosion resistant food safe nylon for theirs - giving their cavatelli maker increased durability and longevity, and making it remarkably easy to clean. Miss Peppa’s nylon rollers are set in a sturdy aluminum body that clamps onto tabletops or work surfaces for stable, easy operation.
How Best to Enjoy Your Cavatelli
What's your favourite sauce to pair with a nice, fresh cavatelli? Share in the comments below!