Cavatelli with Pancetta and Tomato
As you may be able to tell I am an absolute pasta addict. Theres something so comforting about a big bowel of pasta covered in sauce. One of my favourite shapes to make at home is a simple Cavatelli made with semolina flour. It's literally 2 ingredients for the pasta! It's really quick and will go with a number of sauces. It's also great fun to make especially if you have kids. Mine love rolling the shapes out down the gnocchi board. But don't worry if you don't have a board, there are other shapes you can make or just roll it with your thumb along the work surface. I like to serve this with a simple pancetta and tomato sauce with a little basil.
For the pasta
300g semolina flour
150ml warm water. (you may get away with less so don't add it all)
pinch of salt
For the Sauce
65g smoked pancetta cubes
250g fresh San Marzano tomatoes halved (if you cant find fresh use a tin of Mutti)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
small bunch of basil finely chopped
To start mix your semolina flour with warm water and a pinch of table salt in a bowl using a table knife, to start to bring it together. Then tip out onto your surface and knead for about 7 mins until you have a nice ball that is silky smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 min.
Make a start on the sauce by frying off your pancetta in a little olive oil, go on a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes making sure to move it around the pan so not to burn, once crisp add in the san marzano tomatoes and chopped garlic. Don't cook on too high a heat you don't want to burn the garlic as it will taste bitter. After about 3 minutes the tomatoes should start to break down creating a lovely sauce. sprinkle some chopped basil in and stir through.
For the Cavatelli roll your dough out into a long sausage about thumb size in diameter. then chop into 3cm long chunks. Take each chunk and place at the top of your gnocchi board. push into the middle with your scraper and roll the dough away from you down the board.
Once rolled out add to a pan of salted boiling water for around 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce giving it a good stir.
Finish with a good grating of fresh parmesan cheese. Then tuck in and enjoy!