- 2½ cups Tipo '00' flour or all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sparkling mineral water
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds heirloom tomatoes diced
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 bunch fresh Italian basil
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup grated pecorino
- Salt to taste
- In a mortar and pestal, food processor, or by hand crush and chop the garlic.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine garlic and the diced heirloom tomatoes.
- Season with the hot pepper and salt to taste.
- Pick and tear 8-10 fresh basil leaves into small pieces and mix gently.
- Drizzle in ½ cup extra virgin olive oil. Combine and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, adjust seasoning if needed.
Total Time: 1¾ hours (includes resting dough)
- Dump flour on a wooden board and hollow out a well in center. Pour sparkling water into well, then oil. Using a fork as if scrambling eggs, gradually incorporate flour from inner walls of well into liquid. Once you reach a pancake batter-like consistency, use a bench scraper or knife to transfer remaining flour, a little at a time, into well and incorporate. As dough comes together, press it into a loose, shaggy mass. Wash your hands and move dough to a clean surface, scraping up and transferring any flour and dough bits left on board.
- Begin kneading dough by folding far edge toward you and pushing dough down and away with the heel of your hand. Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat, continuing to turn, fold and push for 2-3 minutes. Dough will gradually come together into a semi-smooth mass, with all flour and dough bits incorporated. Clean work surface of any dried dough flakes and continue to knead dough gently until it is smooth and supple and springs back when poked, 10-15 minutes more. Wrap dough ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, ideally 24 hours.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and slice off a 1-inch section, then slice that in half. Roll both pieces against a wooden surface to form tubes slightly skinnier than your pinkie. Cut tubes into segments as long as your thumb is wide.
- To begin shaping cavatelli, stick your right thumb up and then turn hand so thumb is pointing left. Maintaining even pressure, use thumb to push a piece of dough forward and up, like an airplane taking off. The dough should spring up and form around the curve of your thumb. Use a bench scraper or knife to transfer cavatelli to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and sprinkled with flour, making sure no pieces of pasta touch. Continue until all dough is used. Let pasta dry slightly, 30-45 minutes.
- In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil and drop in cavatelli. Boil until pasta pieces float to surface and remain there for about 30 seconds. (Pasta should cook 1½-2 minutes total). Serve with the sauce of your choice.
For The Dish:
- Bring a large heavy bottom pot of salted water to boil.
- Drop in the cavatelli.
- Boil the pasta until the cavatelli rise to the surface and stay there for 30-45 seconds.
- With a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the pasta and immediately combine with the "cart driver" sauce.
- Toss together well with ½ cup grated pecorino cheese and serve hot.
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