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Cavatelli is a kind of pasta popular in southern Italy and Sicily that looks like a cowry shell.

A small shell shaped pasta that has slightly rolled-in edges. The name cavatelli is sometimes found associated with pasta that is similar in shape to casarecci, only shorter in length, but most often it refers to the small shell shaped pasta. It is a good pasta to serve with thick, chunky sauces, meat sauces or in salads requiring a pasta that will hold sauces and dressings. If it is unavailable, casarecci, cicatelli, gnocchetti, or rotini may be substituted.

It derives its name from the verb cavare, to pull away.

The pasta dough, once only made with hard wheat flour and water, but today with other flours such as barley flour, is rolled out into long ropes that are cut off in small segments to form small morsels that are then flattened into disks with the thumb or the edge of a knife to form a pasta called orecchiette. These disks are rolled away, doubling up on themselves, to become cavatelli. Cavatieddi is the Apulian dialect name for this rustic pasta typical of home cooking.

The name is also used for a type of gnocchi (small dumpling) made with ricotta cheese.

Cavatelli Recipes

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