Hand Rolled Cavatelli with Clams and ‘Nduja
400 g semola (finely ground semolina flour), plus extra to dust
200ml warm water
Clam and ‘nduja sauce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed gently with the side of a knife
4 parsley stalks
25 g ‘nduja, crumbled
400 g cherry tomatoes
1kg clams/pipis, purged and drained
100ml dry white wine
Large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
To make the pasta dough, tip the flour onto a clean work surface and mix with a large pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, slowly pour in most of the water and use your hands to slowly bring the flour into the centre, mixing until you have a rough dough. If the dough feels too wet, add a little more flour. If it feels too dry, sprinkle over some more warm water. Knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. As the dough becomes smooth, it is important to clean down your work surface and hands, then continue to knead. Cover with an upturned bowl and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
Working with a small amount of dough at a time, roll pieces of the dough into long ropes, around 5 mm in thickness. Make sure any dough not being used remains covered to stop it from drying out. Cut each rope into lengths around 1.5cm long and use your thumb to drag each piece down a gnocchi board to make little ridged cavatelli. Place the cavatelli onto a tea towel that is generously dusted with semolina flour. Repeat with the remaining dough and set aside.
For the crunchy breadcrumbs, warm the olive oil in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden. Transfer to a plate and season with salt. Set aside.
For the sauce, warm the olive oil in a large pan over a low-medium heat and add the garlic and parsley stalks. This is going to infuse the oil nicely. When you begin to smell the garlic and parsley (around 1-2 minutes), add the ‘nduja and break it up with a wooden spoon. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes are beginning to soften and release their juices.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the clams along with the wine. Stir well then cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the clams have opened, shaking the pan every so often to mix. Season with salt to taste, if necessary.
Meanwhile, cook the cavatelli in a large pot of salted boiling water, until chewy but not chalky, around 3-4 minutes. Drain the cavatelli, reserving some of the cooking water. Transfer the cavatelli to the pan with the clams and simmer for 1-2 minutes so the pasta is well coated, stirring frequently. If the sauce is too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen. Stir through the parsley and serve topped with the crunchy breadcrumbs.
What else I’m eating…
I was recently in Sydney and it was so fun to be out and about eating at different spots! No matter what pops up though, I always return to old favourites. 10 William St is one of them. The pretzel and whipped bottarga, panzerotti, barramundi with fresh borlotti beans, and to finish, spoonfuls of tiramisù. Such a delight!
What else I’m cooking with…
I love making textural salads full of different vegetables like radicchio, fennel, celery and chicory. Dressed with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and a little salt, I am very happy.