Sunday, August 26, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Cavatelli - Homemade Pasta Shells

Okay...  The Meatless Marinara Sauce was a quickie.

Great for hot summer days.
And busy back to school days.

The recipe for Cavatelli (Gavadeel') isn't a quickie.
And not really worth the bother.

Cavatelli is Italian for pasta shells.
Yes, you can find shells ready-made, next to the spaghetti and other pasta shapes.
So, why bother?

The Cavatelli recipe is in the Sunday Dinner chapter of The Sopranos Family Cookbook.
This chapter was written by Tony's sister, Janice.
Yeah, right, recipes from the one with the Rolling Stone tattoo on her chest.
Janice said her Mom, Livia, a typical stay-at-home mom, made these.
Yeah, the typical stay-at-home mom who tried to rub out Tony.
I have enough sense to not argue with Janice.
Janice makes Charlie Sheen look calm and rational.
As Dr. Melfi would say, "Smile and walk away."

Back to the cavatelli ...
If you are not cooking them within an hour, place them (on the pans) in the freezer.  
When they are firm, place them in a plastic bag, seal tightly and freeze.  
Do not thaw the cavatelli before cooking.

This is another of those "Fun to read, but who the hell would make this?" recipes.
Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back, enjoy some biscotti and read.


Serves 6 to 8

In a large bowl combine
2 Cups fine semolina flour
1 Cup flour
1 teaspoon salt

Gradually add about 
1 Cup warm water (enough to make a stiff dough)
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
Knead until the dough is smooth, about 2 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and cover it with the large bowl.
Let dough rest 30 minutes.

Lightly dust 3 large cookie sheets with flour.

Cut the dough into 8 pieces.
Put 7 pieces back under the bowl.

On a lightly floured surface role the first piece of dough
into a 1/2 inch thick rope.
Cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces.

Using a small dull knife with a rounded tip, press your index finger against the side 
of the blade and flatten each piece of dough, pressing and dragging it slightly so 
that the dough curls around the tip of the knife to form a shell shape.
Place the cavatelli on a prepared cookie sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough.

Start reheating
the Tomato Sauce or 
a double recipe of Marinara Sauce

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
Over high heat bring the water to a boil.
salt to taste

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked but slightly chewy.
Drain the cavatelli and place them in a heated serving bowl.
Add the sauce.
Serve immediately with 
grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese

Would I make Cavatelli?
But, I would buy and cook pasta shells.
And enjoy them.

And I hope you enjoyed reading the recipe. 

One recipe down.  Eighty-four more to go.  

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