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Ricotta Cavatelli {Only 2 Ingredients!}

Ricotta Cavatelli {Only 2 Ingredients!}

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Ricotta Cavatelli is a type of handmade pasta made with only 2 ingredients, flour and ricotta.

Just like traditional cavatelli pasta, ricotta cavatelli have an elongated shape and a cavity to hold perfectly any kind of sauce.

If you haven’t tried them yet, they will become your new favorite!

About This Ricotta Cavatelli Pasta

  1. Ricotta Cavatelli are super easy to make, even if you’ve never made homemade pasta before!
  2. You don’t need any special equipment to make delicious Ricotta Cavatelli at home, just your finger! But you can also use a pasta tool if you prefer.
  3. The dough is very pleasant to work with and very forgiving, it’s impossible to get it wrong. 
  4. It requires minimum ingredients: just flour and ricotta.
  5. Ricotta Cavatelli freeze great. In fact, I strongly suggest you double or triple the ingredients and make for later.
  6. They cook in mere 2 minutes, even from frozen, which makes it a perfect go-to pasta for unexpected guests and for a big crowd to feed.
  7. You can use any kind of sauce with it. Simple Parmesan cream sauce is THE best and the easiest!! 
  8. It’s also baby, toddler and kids friendly!
  9. Did  mention that this dough won’t even dry if left uncovered (unlike traditional pasta dough!) – so it’s perfect to let your kids or grandkids participate in the process.
  10. All this makes it a perfect pasta to prepare for the holidays.

What do Ricotta Cavatelli taste like?

Ricotta cavatelli have a very delicate taste. Their texture reminds that of classic potato gnocchi, except maybe a little bit chewy-ier. They are definitely softer than classic cavatelli pasta due to ricotta cheese. You can also feel the taste of cheese even if you wouldn’t quite tell it’s ricotta!

Ingredients For Ricotta Pasta Dough

ricotta cavatelli ingredients - bowl of ricotta, flour and salt

Flour – all purpose flour works great, preferably unbleached for more nutrients.

Ricotta – use good quality store bough ricotta or homemade ricotta. Make sure to drain any excess liquid.

Salt – a few pinches of salt for pasta dough and some more for water to boil ricotta cavatelli it.

How To Make Ricotta Cavatelli – Step By Step Recipe

To make Ricotta Cavatelli you need to prepare the dough and shape cavatelli using your fingers or a gnocchi/garganelli board.

You can start making pasta as soon as the dough is ready without letting it rest. However 15 minutes of resting time will improve the dough flexibility.

Prepare the dough

Put all ingredients in a big bowl. Start mixing with a fork then by hand.

Knead the dough until all flour is incorporated from the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Work the dough for another minute or two. You should get a smooth, non-sticky, soft to touch ball of dough.

If the dough is sticking to your hands, add a little bit more flour and knead again.

If you feel the dough is too stiff, add a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.

You can also prepare this dough using a standing mixer.

ricotta dough

Shape Cavatelli

Cut a piece of the dough and roll it out into ⅓ inch thick ropes. Keep the remaining dough covered with a plastic wrap or a tea towel.

Cut the rope into small pillows that look almost like a square. 

Dust with just a little bit of flour and roll gently with a flat palm of your finger to coat all pieces of the dough (see photos).

Keep in mind, this dough doesn’t stick much so don’t add too much flour.

You also need a slight grip with the surface to roll ricotta cavatelli to their shape.

making ricotta cavatelli

At this point you can roll cavatelli using one of the following methods.

  1. Using finger tips of your pointer and middle finger applying pressure to make the cavity.
how to shape cavatelli with 2 fingers

2. Using the side of the thumb pressing and rolling a piece of dough from left to right, again gentle but firm pressure is important to make the characteristic cavity of cavatelli.

how to shape cavatelli with a thumb

3. Another way to shape cavatelli is using a gnocchi board. The same wooden gnocchi paddle that we use to make homemade gnocchi and homemade garganelli pasta. If you use a gnocchi stripper to make ricotta cavatelli you can as well call them ricotta gnocchi!

shape ricotta gnocchi with a gnocchi board

Arrange your cavatelli or gnocchi on a tray lightly dusted with flour.

how to freeze cavatelli

Keep it in the fridge if you plan to use pasta within a day or freeze for later use.

Ricotta Cavatelli FAQ: All Your Questions Answered

ricotta cavatelli

How To Cook Ricotta Cavatelli

Fresh ricotta cavatelli cook very fast. Simply drop them into slightly salted boiling water and cook for 2 minute once they come afloat.

Frozen cavatelli take a little longer to come afloat but they also take 2 minutes to cook once water is boiling again.

Can I Freeze Ricotta Cavatelli?

Absolutely! In fact, I highly recommend this method of storage.

To freeze ricotta cavatelli or ricotta gnocchi simply arrange them on a tray (preferably plastic) dusted lightly with flour and place in the freezer. Once frozen transfer cavatelli to a plastic ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Best Sauce Pairings

Typical to cavatelli cavity lets them hold almost any kind of sauce.

They pair perfectly with Traditional Ragu Alla Bolognese, leftover sauce from Polpette (Italian Meatballs) and of course Cacio e Pepe sauce (probably the best and for sure the easiest!).

If you cannot find good quality Pecorino cheese, which you need for cacio e pepe you can my this simple white sauce.

ricotta cavatelli with parmesan cream sauce

Cavatelli With Parmesan Cream Sauce

In a mixing bowl add a cup of grated Parmesan cheese and some hot (but NOT boiling cooking liquid – hot liquid will curdle the cheese).

Mix until thick cream forms. Add cooked cavatelli. Mix well, add a little more liquid if needed.

Top with freshly grated black pepper to taste.

ricotta cavatelli on a plate

Ricotta Cavatelli {Only 2 Ingredients!}

Ricotta Cavatelli is a delicious handmade pasta made with only 2 ingredients, flour and ricotta.
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Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup ricotta 400 grams
  • 2 cups flour 300 grams
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Put all ingredients in a big bowl. Start mixing with a fork then by hand.
    1 ¾ cup ricotta, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt
  • Knead the dough until all flour is incorporated from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Work the dough for another minute or two. You should get a smooth, non-sticky, soft to touch ball of dough.
  • Roll out ⅓ inch thick ropes and cut them into small pillow that somewhat look like a square.
  • Dust will just a little bit of flour bit of flour since this dough doesn’t stick much.
  • Roll cavatelli either using finger tips of your pointer and middle finger applying pressure to make the cavity or Using the side of the thumb pressing and rolling a piece of dough from left to right, again gentle but firm pressure is important to make the characteristic cavity of cavatelli.
  • Arrange your cavatelli or gnocchi on a tray lightly dusted with flour.
  • Keep it in the fridge if you plan to use pasta within a day or freeze for later use.
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Buon Appetito!

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