I debated putting this recipe out there as my cavatelli recipe is not usually measured, but rather made by the feel of the dough. If you do not want to dive into making your own, you can find cavatelli shaped pasta in the refrigerated section if your grocery store or in boxes with the rest of the dried pasta. This recipe also uses raw winter vegetables to give it a fresh crunch that I miss in the colder months.
For the cavatelli:
6 oz fresh ricotta cheese (do not drain off any excess liquid)
1 egg plus one yolk
‘00’ flour (use All Purpose Flour if ‘00’ is not available)
Black pepper, freshly ground
2 Meyer lemons, zested and separated
4oz All Leg Jonah Crabmeat
1 large golden beet, sliced paper thin (raw)
½ c purple cauliflower, cut into small crowns (raw)
In a mixer, whip the ricotta until it is light and fluffy. Using the dough hook, mix in the eggs, half the zest, and about 1t if black pepper. Slowly add in flour until everything is combined and the dough does not stick to the sides of the mixing bowl. The dough should spring back when poked. If this does not happen, mix with the dough hook for another few minutes. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few turns. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough until it is about ¼ in thick. Cut the dough into ½ in wide strips and feed through a cavatelli press. If you do not have a cavatelli press, chop the strips into small rectangles and roll off the back of a for to achieve a similar aesthetic.
Boil the pasta in lightly salted water until the individual pieces float. Once all pieces are floating, strain and place into two heated bowls, garnish with the rest of the zest, the vegetables, crab, and a healthy dose of olive oil and black pepper.