Let’s end the year smoothly – Whole grain cavatelli with cherry tomatoes, baby kale, garlic and basil
Finiamo l’anno tranquillamente – Cavatelli con pomodorini, cavolo nero, aglio e basilico
2014 is coming to an end, and I like to end it with a delicious rustic Southern Italian pasta dish called “cavatelli“. They’re consumed in many Southern regions but mainly come from Molise area. Usually cavatelli are made with semolina flour, I made mine with both buckwheat and spelt flours to make this dish even more hearty and rustic. I love the complexity of unrefined grain flours with their nutty flour and beautiful brownish color. You can make them the traditional way using white flour or if you want to avoid refined flours, try this version.
Those are really easy to make and not time consuming like the other types of pasta. You can serve them with anything you want, but are mostly served in a tomato based sauce. Their shapes absorbs the tomato sauce very well and I think they are mainly suited for these types of sauces.
If you want to make this dish vegan, then remove the parmesan, and that would make a delicious vegan dish.
Ingredients for 2-3
For the pasta
- 150 g buckwheat flour
- 150 g whole grain spelt flour
- warm water
For the sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 fresh chili (peperoncino), finely chopped
- 1 handful of baby kale
- salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce
Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic. Cook and stir for a few minutes until fragrant. Add chili pepper, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes are soft, add kale and stir until wilted.
For the cavatelli
In a wooden board, mix spelt flour and buckwheat flour, add enough warm water to make a paste. Knead to form a smooth dough for about 5 minutes. The dough needs to be smooth and elastic and not sticky. Form a round ball shape, then using a rolling pin, roll the dough to form a sheet of about 7 mm thick. Cut strips of about 1 cm like in the picture.
Roll each strip on the board to form a thick “spaghetti” of about 7 mm thick. Cut the “spaghetti” in 2 cm long cylinders and using two fingers tips roll each cylinder so that it excavates the center of the cylinder (see picture). Proceed the same way with each cylinder.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cavatelli and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Keep some cooking water (about 3-4 tbs) to add to the sauce.
Drain cavatelli and add to sauce. Add parmesan and basil and mix well.
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