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Uncooked cavatelli
Place of originItaly
Dry capunti, a variety of cavatelli from Apulia

Cavatelli (/ˌkævəˈtɛli/ KAV-ə-TEL-ee, also US: /ˌkɑːv-/ KAHV-,[1][2][3] Italian: [kavaˈtɛlli]; literally "little hollows")[a] are small pasta shells made from semolina or other flour dough[4], that resemble miniature hot dog buns,[5] commonly cooked with garlic and broccoli or broccoli rabe. A variant adds ricotta cheese to the dough mix.[5]

A dish of cavatelli

Regional names and varieties[edit]

Many varieties and local names of cavatelli exist, including orecchie di prete (priest's ears).[6] In Apulia a number of varieties of cavatelli have specific names including pizzicarieddi.[6] A particular variety of cavatelli is typical of the area of Teggiano in Campania, where they are referred to as parmatieddi (or palmatielli). Parmatieddi are larger than cavatelli and flat-shaped. They are obtained by rolling a stick dough with three fingers of one hand, instead of with a single finger as done for the common cavatelli. Parmatieddi are usually served as first course on Palm Sunday and their shape similar to that of a tree leaf, would like to recall that of palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus when he entered into Jerusalem.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cognate to English cave and cavity.


  1. ^ "cavatelli". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  2. ^ "cavatelli" (US) and "cavatelli". Oxford Dictionaries UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  3. ^ "cavatelli". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Cavatelli". 27 October 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Pasta Shapes". Cook's Thesaurus. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b c De Vita, Oretta Zanini (2009). Encyclopedia of Pasta. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 73, 195.