How To Make Cavatelli Pasta

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Here’s a classic traditional recipe, by Italian Chef Chicca Maione. She can even teach you the art of making pasta in person through her cooking classes (If you are looking for a great vacation)!

Cavatelli is a typical Southern Italian homemade pasta with a unique tube-like shape. The dough is made of durum wheat semolina flour and water, without any egg. They have a firm texture, perfect to go with vegetables, a simple tomato sauce or with a rich bolognese sauce. The same dough can be used to make orecchiette, so give it a try!

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Let’s Make Pasta!

Diet Considerations

  • Vegetarian

Ingredients (Serves 4-5)

  • 400 gr / 14 oz durum wheat flour (choose a finer grain rather than coarse grain)
  • 400 gr / 14 oz boiling water
  • 40 gr / 1 1/2 oz butter


Prep Time: 45 minutes.

Cook Time: 5 minutes.

  1. To prepare the dough

    This fresh pasta is best made with a stand mixer and kneading attachment or with a food processor.

    Begin by bringing the water and butter to a boil.

    Put the flour in a bowl to use with your mixer. Carefully pour the hot water and butter into the bowl.

    Using a medium speed, allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough should seem dry at the beginning, but kneading will give it the perfect texture: elastic and smooth to the touch without sticking to the surface.

    When all the ingredients are combined into a ball, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 about minutes.

  2. Shape the Cavatelli

    While shaping the cavatelli, bring some water to a boil in a big pot (about 3-4 lt). This will be your pasta pot!

    To shape the cavatelli, first lightly flour your work surface. Cut the dough into quarters and work with one portion at a time, keeping the remaining dough wrapped. With the first portion of dough, roll it into a long rope by working your hands from the middle of the dough outward toward the edges ensuring the width is consistently about a 1/2-inch thick. You are making the dough into a snake shape.

    Using a knife or dough scraper, cut the rope into equal 1-inch pieces (about the size of the tip of your thumb). Gently roll each piece on a gnocchi board to create the cavatelli shape. This can also be done using the back of a knife, pastry scraper, or your thumb. Start with the inner edge of your tool/thumb on the top of the dough piece and gently press down and drag the dough towards you. The dough will naturally roll back on itself into a small tube-like shape. Place finished cavatelli on a dry surface that is dusted with flour. This is where all your finished pieces will go until you are done shaping your cavatelli.

  3. Cook your pasta

    Once the pasta water is boiling, add a generous amount of salt to the water. Add your cavatelli to the water and cook for about 5 minutes. When cooked, use a mesh strainer or slotted spoon to drain the cavatelli and shake off excess water.

  4. Serve!

    To finish it off, toss the cavatelli in the sauce you prefer and serve warm!

Need Help?


Plan it into your week

The best way to remember to make it is to plan for it. Learn about meal prep through our article Meal Prep 101, by dietician Shannon Costello.


Print out the ingredient list

Need the ingredients list on hand? Simply pull up the article on your phone (it’s mobile compatible) or click here to print it out.


Email Chicca for help

Chicca’s here to help. If you need assistance with the recipe, email her at


Take the class

Feeling adventurous? Take a trip over to Italy and take the class, led by Chicca, on how to make bruschetta (as well as many other amazing dishes)!

Feeling really adventurous? Enjoy a week of classes and an authentic experience of life in Tuscany, Italy, through her all-inclusive Cooking Vacation.

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About the Author

Chicca Maione

Chicca Maione

Italian Chef

Chicca is a Tuscan-based architect and passionate chef of home-cooked food. After many years of cooking for family and friends, she found her calling: teaching people how to cook authentic homemade food while sharing recipes and stories about her incredible culture. She has spread the traditional-Italian and typical-Tuscan cuisine in Italy and abroad for the past 19 years.
Full Bio

* Recipe posted with permission from the author, Chicca Maione, at Cooking in Tuscany.

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