How to make fresh pasta

How to make fresh pasta: an easy recipe for cavatelli, ready in minutes

Fancy homemade pasta with a fresh, seasonal sauce for dinner? We’ve got an easy (and delicious) recipe that’s perfect for you. 

Lockdown meals are starting to be repetitive, so what better way to brighten up your dinner than with an easy homemade pasta recipe. Italian chef  Francesco Mazzei, working alongside Grana Padano, has pulled together a simple recipe for cavatelli – small pasta shells made from semolina dough, they look like little hotdog buns and taste delicious – and a seasonal sauce. 

Ingredients: serves 3

  • 240g rimacinato di semola or semola
  • 120ml warm water
  • 8 medium English asparagus
  • 60g Grana Padano Riserva
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 70g guanciale (or pancetta)
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
Homemade pasta recipe
Homemade pasta recipe: the fresh ingredients you'll need


For the fresh cavatelli pasta:

  1. Sift the semola into a bowl and add warm water and pinch of salt
  2. Mix the semola and water together with your hands, kneading for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth
  3. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest in the fridge for 1 hour
  4. Once the dough has rested, lightly flour your surface and cut the dough into two pieces
  5. Using your hands, roll out both pieces of the dough into long strips, roughly 3mm thick
  6. Cut the dough horizontally into 3cm pieces
  7. Using your fingers, gently press into the individual pieces of dough to form a ridge and then roll them towards you to form the Cavatelli shape. Once you’ve created the desired shape, sprinkle semola over the top of the pasta to prevent it sticking together when cooked
  8. Bring salted water to the boil. Drop the Cavatelli into the boiling water and leave to cook until they float to the top. Remove the Cavatelli from the boiling water and set aside.

Now you have your delicious, piping hot fresh pasta, what about a seasonal sauce to go with it?

How to make fresh pasta
How to make fresh pasta: the finished dish looks delicious
  1. Cut the guanciale or pancetta into thin strips. Add some extra virgin olive oil to a pan and fry for 5 minutes until crispy, on a medium heat. Set aside.
  2. In the same oil, add the onion and finely chopped sage and sauté over a medium heat for 5 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, cut the asparagus into small pieces and add to the boiling pasta water for a couple of minutes, until softened
  4. Once the onions have browned, add a spoonful of the pasta water to the pan
  5. Add the asparagus and the cavatelli to the pan
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the grated Grana Padano and extra virgin olive oil

To serve

Add the guanciale and finish with the remaining Grana Padano Riserva. Bellissimo! 

Images: PR