Cavatelli with rocket and tomatoes

Cavatelli with rocket and tomatoes

Cavatelli con rucola e pomodori appesi

By
From
Sharing Puglia
Serves
6
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

The Pugliese pomodori appesi tomatoes are picked in summer then strung together in bunches and hung from the rafters of attics and pergolas in people’s homes. As a result of this storing method, the tomatoes’ flavour intensifies and they are used throughout winter for salads and sauces. For those of us who don‘t live in Italy, cherry tomatoes make a good substitute.

Cavatelli

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450g semolina flour
125ml tepid water

Sauce

Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red chilli, chopped, (optional)
2 handfuls rocket, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
400ml tomato passata
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
pecorino, shaved, to serve

Method

  1. To make the cavatelli, put the flour on a board and make a well in the centre. Add half the water and, with your hands, incorporate the flour into the water, always scraping more flour into the mix. Slowly add the remaining water and continue to combine the ingredients. If the dough is too dry add a tablespoon of extra water at a time until the dough is soft. Continue to knead for 5 minutes. Cover the dough and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a long rope about 2 cm thick. Cut this rope into 1.5 cm pieces. Using the blunt side of a butter knife, press down on each piece and slowly drag the knife towards you, making the pasta curl up over the knife. Transfer the cavatelli to a floured baking tray and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (These can be made a few hours before and left at room temperature.)
  3. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until softened. Add the chilli and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Add the rocket, stir well and cook for a further 3 minutes. Squash the cherry tomatoes lightly and add them to the pan, along with the tomato passata. Continue to stir the sauce for a few minutes and, if it looks a little dry, add some of the boiling pasta water (see below) to loosen it up to your taste. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. When the cavatelli rise to the top, cook for about 7–10 minutes or until al dente. Drain the cavatelli and pour it into the pan with the sauce. Mix everything together well. Transfer to a communual serving bowl. Season to taste, add some extra rocket to garnish and drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil. Finish the dish with the shaved pecorino and serve immediately.
Tags:
italy
italian
puglia
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