Cavatelli is a type of fresh pasta, beloved for its toothsome texture and ability to snag sauce in its canoe-like shape. Though it might sound intimidating to make your own dough and form the pieces, it's as simple as stirring together a quick semolina dough that's then cut and molded around a dull knife. Homemade cavatelli is an especially nice project for kids, or just when zoning out and enjoying the process of making something from scratch, alone or with friends or a loved one, sounds just perfect. While other fresh pasta shapes, like fettuccine or Ricotta Roll-Ups in Creamy Pumpkin Sauce, require a bit more precision (and patience), cavatelli means just rolling the dough into a rope and playing. Plus, it's not even out of the question for a weeknight meal if you time it right. Here, the fresh cavatelli are bathed with a delicious tomato sauce that's infused with nearly a head of garlic and tender sautéed shallots, but you could pair the pasta with other ingredients. Try homemade cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage or butternut squash and sage, or with your favorite sauce.
Shopping tip: semolina flour is available at most supermarkets, often near all-purpose flour.