Cavatelli with late summer tomato mushroom ragu recipe


  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the Cavatelli Dough
  • 6 ounces (1 generous cup) durum flour
  • 6 ounces (1 ½ scant cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large yolk
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Ragu
  • 8 ounces pancetta, chopped fine
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 6 ounces fresh porcini mushrooms or other wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, preferably of different colors, chopped
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) Light Chicken Stock
For the Finished Dish
  • 2 cups lightly packed arugula leaves or 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • Peel of 1 lemon, in very fine julienne
  • 2 ounces freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make It
    To Prepare the Pasta Dough
  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a rough dough, then finish kneading the dough by hand on a work surface for about 8 minutes. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for 45–60 minutes.
  2. To Form the Cavatelli
  3. Cut the dough into 4 sections and cover 3 of them with a damp cloth.
  4. Roll out the remaining section of dough into a ½-inch-thick rope, and feed it through the cavatelli maker as its manufacturer directs. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath for the pasta and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. Cook the pasta in the water about a third at a time. It will sink to the bottom at first. When it starts to float, scoop it out with a spider or slotted spoon and chill it in the ice bath. Repeat with the remaining pasta. (If you wish, you can drain the cooled pasta, lay it out on a baking sheet, and spray it with oil. Then it can sit for up to an hour at room temperature before finishing the dish.)
  7. To Prepare the Sauce
  8. Cook the pancetta in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until brown and almost crisp.
  9. Remove it from the pan drippings with a slotted spoon. Reserve 1 tablespoon of pan drippings and pour off and discard any extra.
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until caramelized to a light golden color, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  11. Add the tomatoes and stock, then simmer for 2 more minutes to soften the tomatoes.
  12. Putting it all Together
  13. Add the cavatelli and mix it around with the sauce. Just before removing from the heat stir in the arugula and lemon peel. Divide the pasta among 4 plates. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and enjoy right away.

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