- 225 grams (1¾ cups) 00 flour, plus extra for dusting (if you can’t find 00 flour, all-purpose is OK)
- 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 227 grams (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta (homemade or store-bought; if store-bought, pick one made without stabilizers; if it is a little stiff, add an extra egg to soften it up)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt, for pasta cooking water
- 2¼ pounds ground pork shoulder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons fennel seed, toasted and cracked
- 1½ teaspoons minced parsley
- 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as sunflower or grapeseed, preferably organic
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup parsley or chives, minced, preferably local and organic
Add 1 cup each of both types of flour into a bowl, make a well in the flour and add the cheese and eggs. Gradually work the mixture together, adding more flour as necessary, to make a soft but not sticky dough. You may not need to use all flour called for in recipe. Consistency is key.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it is smooth and silky, 6 to 8 minutes. Dough should have soft Play-Doh consistency; thumbprint should leave an indention and not bounce back. Let dough rest at room temperature, covered with an inverted bowl or wrapped in plastic, for 30 minutes (or overnight in the fridge).
Form dough into a round and cut into quarters. Working with one-quarter at a time (cover remaining dough with an inverted bowl to keep dough from drying out), on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rope ¼ inch in diameter.
With a knife, cut rope into ½-inch pieces. With your index and middle fingers held together, gently press down on each piece, beginning at top and moving toward bottom, dragging your fingers toward you and causing pasta to roll over on itself. Alternatively, with your thumb, gently press down on each piece, beginning at bottom and moving upwards, pushing your thumb away from you, causing pasta to roll over on itself. They should look like thin shells.
Transfer formed pasta to a lightly floured jelly-roll pan and let dry at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, add pasta. Cook until cavatelli are al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Sample to test doneness. Drain.
Mix together all sausage ingredients, except oil, and cook right away. Or refrigerate mixture and cook later.
Add cooking oil to a large pan over medium-high heat, add sausage mixture and sauté until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
After 8 minutes, add some pasta water (while pasta is cooking) to sausage. Start with about ¾ cup and stir into sausage. Continue to add more, about ¼ cup at a time, to get a nice thick sauce-like consistency. It should not be runny. Continue cooking sausage for remaining 2 minutes.
To Finish the Dish
Add cooked cavatelli, sausage, olive oil and Parmesan to a large bowl and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with minced parsley or chives and serve.