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Homemade Cavatelli With Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Arugula

  • First course
Serves 10

For the sauce: 

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley 
  • ½ teaspoon salt  
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili flakes           

For the cavatelli: 

  • 1 pound (450 grams) semolina flour, plus extra for the counter 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • Hot water 

To cook and serve: 

  • 2 tablespoons salt 
  • 1 package (5 ounces) wild arugula (stems removed if needed) 
  • 7 ounces (1 cup) fresh whole-milk Ricotta 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil 
  • 2/3 cup (1/4 pound) coarsely grated Ricotta Salata, plus extra for passing at the table 
  • ¼ cup Monini DOP Umbria extra-virgin olive oil 

Make the sauce: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (preferably set on convection roast). Toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and chilli on an 11-inch x 17-inch baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until soft. 

Make the cavatelli: Place the semolina on the counter and mix in the salt. Make a well in the center and add enough hot water to make a dough that comes together; it will take about 1 cup of water. The dough should be firm and form a solid mass. Add more water if the dough is ragged and does not come together (keep in mind that this dough should be quite firm, almost hard, so as to pass through the rollers of the cavatelli machine without sticking together). Knead vigorously 5 to 10 minutes, or until very smooth. The dough should be quite hard. 

Cut into 16 pieces and roll each piece into a ¼-inch-wide log. Roll one log at a time through a cavatelli machine; be sure to keep the other logs from drying out by covering them with plastic wrap. If the dough sticks as you roll it out with the machine, dust the logs and the pasta rollers with all-purpose flour. Toss the cavatelli in a sieve with semolina flour as soon as they are shaped to prevent them from sticking, then spread out on a semolina-dusted tray for up to 24 hours. 

To cook the cavatelli: Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add the cavatelli and the 2 tablespoons of salt; cook until the cavatelli are al dente, about 6 minutes, tasting often to determine doneness. Drain; reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. 

Add an extra touch

(courtesy of Chef Micol Negrin from Rustico Cooking, NY) 


Micol Negrin
With a degree from Canada's premier culinary academy, “L'Institut du Tourisme et de l'Hotellerie du Quebec”, MICOL NEGRIN moved to New York City and became the Editor and chief writer for The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana.  Micol opened RUSTICO COOKING in Midtown Manhattan, with her husband Dino De Angelis to host cooking classes, cooking parties and team-building events. Author of three cookbooks: the James Beard-nominated “Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking”, “The Italian Grill” and “The Best Pasta Sauces: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes”. Micol is not only a skilled Italian chef, but an accomplished writer and well-respected authority on Italian cuisine, and has written articles for major publications (including Fine Cooking, Cooking Light and Bon Appetit).