Cavatielli are soft, gnocchi-like dumplings. Members of the Campo family—true to their southern Italian dialect—pronounce cavatielli as “gavadill”. You can freeze the raw cavatielli in a single layer on a sheet tray and, once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag to store for up to three months.
- 2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour,preferably King Arthur
- 1 1⁄2 lb. ricotta cheese (about 2 1⁄2 cups)
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese
- Mix flour, ricotta, and eggs in a large bowl to make a semismooth dough. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside to let rest for 1 hour.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece of dough into a 20″-long rope. Cut each rope crosswise into 1⁄2″-thick pieces. To form the dumplings, roll the curved back of a fork over each piece, pressing down and rolling the tines (and dough) toward you. The goal is to leave tine marks on the outside of each dough piece while rolling the piece onto itself, creating a dent in the center. (Place each piece on the fine-holed side of a box grater to make the rolling easier.) Transfer dumplings to a floured sheet tray; sprinkle with more flour. Set dough aside, uncovered, to let dry for 1 hour.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add dumplings in batches; gently stir; cook just until they rise to top, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a bowl. Serve tossed with Hearty Tomato Ragù, if you like, and sprinkled with cheese.