Yesterday we got an amazing shipment of cheese in from Cowgirl Creamery. One of the first things that caught my eye was the clabbered cottage cheese. The cottage cheese curds are made from skim milk and then dressed with fresh clabbered cream. I really wanted to use it immediately, while it was tugging at my taste buds. Then I remembered the cavatelli. Alex had asked me to make a miso cavatelli dough, it was an idea that he had gotten from Wylie while he was in New York. To my mind, the cottage cheese would be the perfect foil for the salty richness of the miso and I proceeded accordingly.
As Alex mentioned yesterday, the cavatelli maker broke down almost immediately. We were forced to revisit days of old before we owned the machine. Because of this we can share some photos of the traditional manual method for everyone who doesn't own a special machine for making their cavatelli. I actually prefer the handmade specimen, it has more character and there's no question that it came from our kitchen. The cavatelli can be cooked immediately or frozen and cooked directly from the freezer. We plan to serve it with baby broccoli rabe and dungeness crab meat. If you decide to try the recipe, we'd love to hear about your creations as well.
Miso Cavatelli Dough
4 cups of flour
6 tablespoons light miso
16 ounces of cottage cheese
1/4 cup of milk
Combine in a food processor and pulse to blend. Once a rough dough has formed, turn it out onto the counter and knead by hand to form a cohesive mass.
Or combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead by hand. Once the dough comes together, turn it out onto the counter to finish kneading.
The cottage cheese curds will cause the dough to look slightly scrambled and this dough is slightly rougher and drier than traditional pasta dough.
Wrap with plastic and let rest for an hour at room temperature before forming cavatelli.
We rolled the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4". The we cut them into strips approximately 1/2" thick. Cover the extra strips with a damp towel so the dough doesn't dry out while you are making the cavatelli.
Cut 1/2" squares using the
butter knife or bench scraper.
Turn each square diagonally
and drag the knife or bench
scraper along the dough at a 45-degree angle. The pasta will
curl along the implement
leaving you with beautifully
shaped cavatelli. It may take a
couple of tries to master the technique but once you develop
a rhythm it moves pretty
rapidly. Cook immediately in boiling salted water or freeze on the sheet tray. The frozen pasta can then be stored in plastic bags and cooked directly from the freezer.