A pasta that just screams spring, this recipe is made from white wheat flour and carrot juice then paired with an easy topping of garlic butter, ricotta, and dill. Whether you try your hand at making your own pasta or use store-bought, it’s a delicious recipe for the warmer weather.
On a whim, I made this pasta after Mack asked to juice things. Because I’m always looking for ways to fill time, I said sure. I posted this pasta to Instagram, and to my surprise, many people were interested in how I made it. So, here we are.
I love making cavatelli because you don’t need any special equipment (I use a gnocchi board, but it’s not a necessity). It takes a bit of time, but once you get the hang of it, the process is fun and can be an excellent, relaxing activity. I shared a series on stories of making this pasta you can check out as well.
If you don’t want to make homemade pasta, that’s cool too! The flavors of this pasta are lovely, no matter. I do recommend, however, adding some roasted vegetables or slightly wilted greens to the dish (you can do this whether you make the pasta or not!)
I used white wheat flour for this particular recipe because it’s what I had on hand (not traditional but works!) Also, using this flour allowed me to make the pasta without eggs. The less protein flour has, the more help it needs from eggs. White wheat has a decent amount of protein, so I was able to make this pasta without eggs.
However, if you want to use a different flour, like soft wheat or einkorn, I’d recommend changing the recipe. Drop the olive oil and reduce the carrot juice slightly. Add an egg or two. Not only will this help the pasta hold, using a fresh egg will increase the color.
Given that the pasta is already vegan, I felt like I should have made a vegan recipe. However, I had terrific ricotta on hand and, thus, landed on this recipe. The first time I made this without ricotta and a bit of miso for a flavor boost. If you want to go this route, swap out the butter for vegan butter or olive oil, stir in miso at the end, and make sure you save pasta water to thin the sauce out.
¾ cup white whole wheat flour
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons carrot juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2–3 tablespoons ricotta
Zest from one lemon
¼ cup dill, divided
Salt + pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons toasted pistachios
Place the flour on a clean surface. Make a well in the center and add the carrot juice and olive oil. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the flour. Once the dough comes together, switch to using your hands and begin kneading the dough. Scrape any loose flour to the side. As you knead, add a bit more flour when the dough feels sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is no longer sticky and smooth; about 8 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, cut off a ½” thick slice, roll between your hands and on the counter to form a rope that is about the same thickness as a pencil. Using a knife or bench scraper, cut ½” pieces then take each piece and shape on the counter or a gnocchi board. This is done by press down and forward at the same time. It might take a bit to get the pressure right, but practice will help.
Bring a salty pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender and floating towards the top. Strain out the pasta and save a bit of pasta water if needed for the sauce.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add two tablespoons of butter. Let melt then add the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the drained pasta, ricotta, lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons worth of dill. Toss until well combined and add salt/pepper to taste. Top with the pistachios and extra dill before serving.
Pasta: If you want to use store-bough pasta, cook up about 5 ounces worth of pasta.
Flour: I used white wheat because that’s what I had on hand. Any other high-protein flour will work in this recipe. Durum is traditional for no-egg pasta because the protein holds it together. If you want to use a low-protein flour, eggs are a must.
Keywords: carrot cavatelli