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Recipe for homemade Cavatelli with Broccoli

Homemade Cavatelli with Broccoli

Easy to make homemade cavatelli with broccoli is a simple yet classic Italian recipe dish. These fresh handmade pasta noodles can be frozen for later use to have on hand at a moments notice.
Course supper
Cuisine Italian
Keyword homemde, cavatelli, classic Italian recipe, pasta dough, broccoli
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Marisa


Cavatelli dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water room temperature
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling over the finished dish
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • fine sea salt to your taste
  • freshly crushed black pepper to your taste
  • 1 tablespoon semolina flour for dusting a rimmed cookie sheet
  • grated Romano cheese optional


  • Place the flour on a work surface. Then simply make a well in the centre and pour about 1/4 cup of water and olive oil in the hollow centre.
  • With a fork, gradually work in the flour a little at a time until a very soft ball forms. 
  • Keep adding water a tablespoon at a time while working in the remaining flour.
  • It does get messy so it helps to have a pastry scraper nearby. This helps release the dough from the work surface.
  • Knead the dough for about 8 to 10 minutes until smooth while picking up as much of the remaining flour as possible. You'll know it's ready when it no longer tears apart while kneading. It will feel smooth and will spring back when poked.
  • If the dough seems dry when kneading while working in as much of the flour as possible, you can dab your hands with a little bit of water. 
  • Note that you will not need all of the 1 cup of water. I've only ever used 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water at the most. But its a great idea to keep it nearby just in case.
  • When you're finished kneading, cover the dough with cling wrap and let it rest for 60 minutes at room temperature.
  • The resting time relaxes the gluten in the dough and makes it easier to roll and shape.
  • Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with some semolina flour and set aside.
  • Cut the dough into 8 pieces.
  • Working with one piece at a time, while keeping the remaining doughs covered, roll the piece out into a pencil thin rope. 
  • Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces.
  • Use a gnocchi board if you have, to make the little caves or indentations in the dough.
  • If you don't have a gnocchi board, use your index and middle fingers to press down into the dough and swiping towards you. This will create the distinctive crevice.
  • Transfer the cavatell to your prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Salt the water and add in the broccoli.
  • Cook the broccoli till fork tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Once the broccoli is cooked, remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon but DO NOT throw out the water. Save to cook the cavatelli.
  • Transfer the broccoli to a large skimming bowl and run under cold water. Set aside.
  • Bring the water back to boil if needed and add in the cavatelli.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or till al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium low heat.
  • Add in the crushed garlic, pepper flakes and a dash of salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Stir to brown the garlic all over. This will take 2 minutes or so.
  • Drain the cavatelli while reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.
  • Add the cooked cavatelli and the broccoli to the skillet with the browned garlic sauce.
  • Toss to mix well and add a little of the reserved pasta water if needed.
  • Plate and serve with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and freshly grated cheese if desired.