Our gnocchi boards have finally arrived! No, we haven’t graduated to making gnocchi just yet, but we ordered the boards to make cavatelli. This was another type of short pasta we had learned to make at the Pitchfork Co. workshop. The boards provide the ridges on the pasta. You should try using a cheese grater or a microplane grater; however, I have fears of cutting my finger on either of those.
We used the same dough recipe as for the orecchiette pasta, but we found the pieces stuck to the board, so we lightly dusted the dough pieces with flour before we began shaping.
Making cavatelli is somewhat faster than orecchiette, though cavatelli is a bit more doughy in texture. They are both fantastic!
We made a sausage, tomato & rapini sauce. The secret to delicious pasta is really (a) making your own pasta, and (b) pairing the pasta with the right sauce. What we’ve learned from Alimentari is that Italian pasta dishes are not heavy on the sauce. Both the fresh pasta and the sauce are the stars and should compliment each other. Sauces do not need to be fancy. All you need are a few good quality ingredients. Our sauce was simply garlic, olive oil, San Marzano tomatoes (canned), rapini, and parmigiano cheese.
Other important things include salting your pasta water appropriately, and don’t drain your pasta! Fresh pasta does not take long to cook. Once al dente, use a slotted spoon or spider wire skimmer to spoon the pasta into your pot with the sauce. Add some pasta water if more liquid is required. The pasta water will create a thickened sauce versus a runny sauce. Add generous amounts of grated parmigiano. This also helps to thicken things up, and it adds such a wonderful flavour. Serve immediately, and sprinkle more parm on top.
My mouth waters just thinking about this! What is your favourite short pasta?