Spinach-Ricotta Cavatelli with Tomato Sauce

You can substitute 1 3/4 pounds of store-bought fresh or frozen cavatelli or potato gnocchi for the homemade cavatelli.

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  • Servings: 8

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  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat ricotta cheese (12 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup thawed frozen spinach, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup finely chopped basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Le Bec-Fin Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium broth

How to make this recipe

  1. Put the ricotta, spinach, egg yolk and olive oil in a food processor and process to a paste. Add the flour, semolina, salt and white pepper and process until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Wrap the dough in plastic and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. Cover the sun-dried tomatoes with hot water and let soak until plumped, about 25 minutes. Drain well and coarsely chop, then transfer to a mini-processor and puree.

  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the fresh tomatoes and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the tomatoes release their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the basil and Chicken Stock, cover and simmer over low heat until the tomatoes are very soft, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce, pressing on the tomatoes to extract as much sauce as possible. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper.

  4. Cut the cavatelli dough into 10 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, using both hands, roll out each piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope. With a fork, cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Press the side of the fork lengthwise into the center of each piece. Set the cavatelli on a lightly floured baking sheet.

  5. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the cavatelli in batches, stirring, until they rise to the surface, about 4 minutes. Drain the cavatelli and divide them among 8 shallow bowls. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot tomato sauce over each portion and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of the Parmesan cheese.

Make Ahead

The uncooked cavatelli can be frozen for up to 1 month.


One Serving Calories 312 kcal, Total Fat 6.8 gm, Saturated Fat 2.2 gm

Contributed By Published January 1998

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