Cavatelli al Pesto

Cavatelli al Pesto - student project

Thanks everyone for joining me in this class! 

Below is the recipe I demonstrated for Cavatelli al Pesto – a great starter dish as well as one of my personal favorite Italian classics. You can also find a PDF download here.

Looking forward to seeing what pasta you make! 


Cavatelli con Pesto di Spinaci & Basilico e Stracciatella

4 servings


For the Cavatelli:

  • 1000 grams durum flour
  • 400 grams water
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste  

For the Pesto Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked and stems removed
  • 1 bunch or container baby spinach leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup stracciatella cheese
  • ½ cup coarse homemade breadcrumbs (optional)


To make the pasta dough:

Mound the flour on a smooth work surface, and create a small well in the middle. Pour the water and olive oil into the well, and combine to create a smooth dough. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes.


To form the cavatelli by hand:

Working with small amounts of dough at a time, roll out long, roughly shaped cylinders about ½-inch thick. Cut each cylinder into 1-inch pieces, press your thumb directly into the middle of the piece and, without rolling your thumb, push your thumb forward 1 inch so that the dough curls around the back of your thumb. This can also be done on a gnocchi board or on the back of a fork to create ridges.


Cooking instructions:

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and have a bowl of ice water to the side at the ready. Blanch the spinach and basil in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then transfer them to the ice water immediately. Once cooled, squeeze the liquid from the spinach and basil. Purée the spinach and basil in a food processor with one tablespoon olive oil and ice water, if needed, to help thin the mixture out. Season with salt to taste.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it heavily with salt.. Add the cavatelli to the boiling water with the broccoli and cook it for 2-3 minutes or until the pasta is floating to the top and becomes al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan with the pesto, tossing to coat it evenly with the sauce. Add in half of the breadcrumbs and grated Parmigiano Reggiano and toss again. Serve hot, with one spoonful of stracciatella on the bottom of the dish. Top with the remaining breadcrumbs, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired.


Chef at La Scuola di Eataly