holiday charcuterie board

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Our Christmas tree is up, little white lights twinkle from the dogwood tree next to our porch, and our fireplace boasts a roaring fire more often than not. The holiday season has snuck up on us once again, but we’re embracing every moment. It is always a special time of year, but this year, as we enjoy the season for the first time in our new home, it feels particularly so.

For me, the holidays are about gathering with my loved ones – usually around a table. It’s such a simple act that is often overcomplicated with too many details. Not surprisingly so, this thinking tends to discourage people from hosting. And frankly, if I overthought every dinner, I would stop hosting people as well. The truth is though, the table and menu don’t need to be fussed over. In fact, a simpler menu is the key to a great party – one that you as the host can enjoy as much as your family and guests.

Typically, when I host a dinner party, I start the night out with a board of cheeses and charcuterie. It requires little effort and can easily be put together ahead of time, allowing me the flexibility to enjoy a glass of wine with my guests, rather than stressing over the food. Better yet, it allows me to get creative. I love experimenting and catering to every palate with different varieties of charcuterie, cheeses, and various accoutrement. To me, building a charcuterie board is about thinking outside of the box – doing away with traditional “rules” and “guidelines” and having a little fun. Who says a charcuterie board has to be a pile of salami and cheese? That type of rigid thinking will always result in a “bored” board – one that will fail to excite both you and your guests.

I’m here today to share a festive, “un-bored” charcuterie board filled with a wide range of delicious charcuterie from Trois Petits Cochons, cheeses, dips, and unexpected accoutrements. Below you’ll also find a list of 10 tips – meant as a guide, not as a rule book – on how to assemble your own beautiful, lively board. And, in the spirit of the holidays, I’ve also included a few recipes that I feel pair particularly well with the charcuterie as well as add festive color, including a beet + cashew dip, simple roasted carrots, and pickled gherkin cucumbers.

The earthiness and subtle sweetness of the beet dip brings out the rich, salty flavors of the rillettes and pâté. The cashews in the dip also provide substance and richness – making it not only a great complement to the charcuterie, but also a delicious main attraction for any vegans or vegetarians you may have in your crowd. The roasted carrots are about as simple as they come – meant as an unexpected substitute to traditional raw crudite, but can be eaten with your fingers just the same. And, the pickled gherkin cucumbers act as a light palate cleanser – providing a sweet alternative to the more traditional cornichons that are also on the board.

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season, filled with family, friends and of course, good food.


My sincere thanks to Trois Petits Cochons for sponsoring this post, and for sharing so many of their delicious products with me!


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holiday charcuterie board

1 (7 ounce) container Trois Petits Cochons Rillettes de Canard

1 (4 ounce) Trois Petits Cochons Pâté aux Pommes et Cidre

1 (4 ounce) package Trois Petits Cochons Sliced Saucisson Sec

1 (3 ounce) package Trois Petits Cochons Sliced Jambon Sec

Trois Petits Cochons Cornichons Piquants

beet + cashew dip (recipe below)

simple roasted carrots (recipe below)

pickled gherkin cucumbers (recipe below)

assorted hard and soft cheeses

assorted crackers



dried fruits (plums, fermented figs)

fresh herbs


10 tips for assembling an ‘un-bored’ charcuterie board:

1. When choosing charcuterie to include, make sure to use a good variety of textures and flavors – Trois Petits Cochons offers many delicious options. For this board, I used a few of their sliced cured meats (dry cured ham and air dried sausage) for snacking, as well as a pâté and rillettes for spreading on crackers.

2. The same logic applies to cheeses – make sure to include a range of textures and flavors. I included both goat’s and cow’s milk cheeses, as well as a mixture of hard and soft textures. A wedge of pungent blue cheese will satisfy those with more adventurous palates, while sweeter cheeses like aged gouda and gruyère are always crowd pleasers.

3. Include complementary flavors. Accoutrements should complement the charcuterie, not overwhelm it. Sweet flavors, like grapes and dried fruits, complement saltier charcuterie and cheeses, while sour, acidic flavors, like cornichons and other pickled vegetables are great palate cleansers.

4. Don’t stop at fruits and pickles – boards benefit from all different kinds of foods that aren’t necessarily “traditional”. Try including some fun dips or spreads (like this beet + cashew dip, below), or other unexpected small bites like vegetable fritters, crostini, deviled eggs, or even simple roasted vegetables that can be eaten with your fingers (like these simple roasted carrots, below) – anything that complements your charcuterie and keeps things interesting. It’s also a good idea to make sure at least one of these options is vegan or at least vegetarian, to satisfy all palates in your crowd.

5. Make it easy on yourself. For the items that you make yourself, choose recipes that can be made in advance. The recipes I’ve included below are all great options that can easily be made in advance. Even the roasted carrots can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.

6. When assembling, “anchor” your board. Start with a large wheel of cheese or pâté in the center of your board that can act as your anchor or starting point around which you can arrange other cheeses, meats, and accoutrements. For mine, I used a wheel of brie.

7. More is more. I think charcuterie boards look most appealing and are most festive when they are piled high with different foods. Once you place your larger items on the board, fill in any empty spaces with smaller things (crackers, grapes, figs, olives, etc).

8. Mix up the colors. Break up similarly colored pâtés and cheeses with brightly colored accoutrement. This will help the true stars of the board pop. And, to give things a festive-vibe, include holiday-inspired shades (here, I used the beet + cashew dip and purple carrots for shades of red, as well as gherkins and fresh sage for pops of green).

9. Garnish with fresh herbs. Fresh herbs will brighten up any dish, and the same applies for charcuterie boards. They add a touch of green, as well as a fresh fragrance. For my board, I included a few bundles of fresh sage, to keep in the holiday theme, but really any herb would look nice here – fresh bay leaves, parsley, chives, winter savory, and thyme are some great options.

10. Serve a stack of small plates next to the board. Sharing straight off the board is always fun, but small plates will encourage guests to take their own helpings. This is especially true for cocktail parties where guests will tend to crowd around the food.


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beet + cashew dip

½ cup raw, unsalted cashews

4 small beets (14 oz total), greens trimmed + halved

1 leek (white + light green parts only), halved lengthwise + cleaned

2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled

5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to garnish

1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

juice of ½ a lemon

sea salt flakes, to garnish


Add the cashews to a small bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to soak for 1 ½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a cast iron skillet or baking sheet, toss the halved beets, leeks, and unpeeled garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast in the oven, tossing the vegetables occasionally to avoid burning, until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 – 50 minutes. If you find that your garlic and leeks are browned, but the beets are still undercooked, just remove the leeks and garlic and allow the beets to continue to roast until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Drain the cashews. In a food processor or a high-powered blender, add the cashews, cannellini beans, and 3 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth. (If using a blender, you may need to use the tamper attachment to get things going). Once cool enough to handle, peel the beets either by rubbing between paper towels. Cut each half into half again and add the pieces to the food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skin and add along with the leeks, salt, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a slow and steady stream until completely incorporated. Spoon the dip into a bowl. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 2 days) or garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt flakes to serve immediately. If not serving immediately, remove the dip from the refrigerator a few hours in advance to allow to come to room temperature and garnish with the olive oil and salt right before serving.




simple roasted carrots

1 bunch of carrots, peeled + greens trimmed (I used purple carrots)

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt + freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Halve any larger carrots lengthwise, if needed, so they are all roughly the same thickness. On a large cast iron skillet, or sheet pan, toss the carrots with the olive oil and salt + pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer and roast, tossing once halfway through, until the carrots are tender when pierced with a knife, but not limp,* about 25 – 30 minutes.

*It’s important to not overcook your carrots. They should be just tender-crisp, so that they can easily be picked up and eaten with your hands.




pickled gherkin cucumbers

1 cup Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers (or other miniature cucumber variety)

1 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 bay leaf


In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, 1 cup of water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and bay leaf over high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Add the gherkins to a sealable glass container (like a weck jar). Pour the warm brine over them and allow to cool completely. Once cool, seal the container and refrigerate overnight before serving. Pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.


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savory squash galette





Around this time every year, as the days grow colder and darker, I find myself craving richer, more comforting meals – the kind of meals that sit on the stovetop all day, or bake for hours in a warm oven. For me, a cozy night in by the fire just would not be the same without a big ol’ pot of hearty soup simmering away on the stove.

While working from home on a windy, fall day, I decided that one of those comforting meals was in order. A few black futsu squash sat on my counter, left over from my shoot with Krissy a few weeks ago, and I thought – what could I make with those? Longing for something buttery and decadent, I decided a savory galette would be just what I craved – a rich, flaky crust filled with sweet, tender squash.

I decided to use a mixture of black futsu and delicata squash for a bit of variety, but I imagine many varieties of squash would work well here. I’m telling you guys though – if you haven’t tried black futsu yet, you have to. After being introduced to the variety by our farm share, we have not been able to get enough of them this season – roasting them for salads, soups, and now this galette. They have a depth of flavor that I’ve yet to find in any other variety of squash – deeply nutty and pleasingly sweet.

The galette is as simple as they come – just a pile of thinly sliced squash, onions, and garlic enveloped in a savory pie crust. A drizzle of maple syrup brings out the sweetness of the squash, while a bit of olive oil and butter add richness. I used a mixture of fresh winter savory and thyme to add a bit of brightness, but I imagine sage would be delicious as well. Whether for a cozy night in, or as a side for your Thanksgiving table, I promise you it will not disappoint.

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope your tables are filled with delicious food and those you love the most.


savory squash galette

serves 2 – 4

for the dough:

1 cup (120g) all-purpose or whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling the dough

pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

3 tablespoons ice water

½ of a small black futsu squash, seeded + cut into thin (¼-inch) wedges

1 small delicata squash, seeded + cut into thin (¼-inch) slices*

¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, sliced

3 sprigs winter savory and/or thyme, leaves removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter

salt + freshly cracked black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

In a medium bowl, add the flour and a pinch of salt. Add the cold butter and, using your hands, work it into the flour until a coarse meal forms (and small pieces of butter are visible throughout). Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough just comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set aside a small baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rough circle, about 1/8-inch-thick. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin and unroll onto the baking sheet. Pile the squash, onion, and garlic slices in the middle of the dough, leaving an approximate 2-inch border. Sprinkle the squash with the winter savory and/or thyme leaves and drizzle with the olive oil and maple syrup. Scatter knobs of the butter evenly over the top and season with a few generous pinches of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Working around the outside, fold the border of dough up over the outside edges of the squash to form the galette. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the exposed dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake in the oven until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork and the dough is deeply golden, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you find your crust is browning too quickly, you can cover it loosely with aluminum foil until the squash is tender (though I did not have to do this with mine). Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

This galette is delicious as a side dish or as a light dinner, served with a side of dressed greens.

*Just a note that I did not seed my delicata, but found that the seeds did not get as crisp as I would have liked them to in the time it took the galette to bake. I would suggest removing them before assembling the galette.


holiday inspiration with Krissy of Cottage Farm

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Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting the lovely Krissy O’Shea of Cottage Farm at my house in NY for a holiday-inspired collaboration. Over an inspirational and fun-filled two days, we put together a cozy, inviting scene complete with a collection of recipes fit for an intimate holiday gathering.

Krissy and I initially connected over a shared love of old homes and food – a seemingly odd combination, but one that made sense to the two of us. We both spent the past year restoring our respective centuries-old homes – slowing peeling away layers and uncovering their histories. In doing so, we’ve both experienced the roller coaster that is home restoration. We’ve shared stories of the unbelievable highs: removing a false ceiling to reveal more space or tearing down walls to expose original hand-hewn beams. And, we’ve shared stories of the lows: the painstaking process of restoring original horsehair plaster walls, the seemingly endless lists of to-dos and parts needing fixing.

It’s a complicated process, restoring a house, but one that leads to simplicity. The act of peeling each layer away – the wallpaper, the linoleum, the false ceilings – reveals a home’s identity. People built homes for function in the 1700s and 1800s. Every beam bared a weight; every nook held a function. Restoration is about removing the redundancies that have accumulated over time and revealing a home’s “bones” – the parts that hold purpose and meaning. For me, and I think Krissy as well, there’s beauty in revealing a home’s purpose and connecting with those who built it. Carrying on a family’s legacy 230 years later is a rare gift, and one that I do not take lightly.

In a way, food holds a similar connective power. Across generations, through hardship and fortune, celebration and grief, meals have been shared. Food bridges divides. It connects us. In talking, Krissy and I discovered how much we both love the simple act of gathering loved ones around the table. Like the fundamental simplicity of the bones of an old house, sharing a meal with loved ones is something that we often take for granted, but that holds a powerful importance.

In that spirit, we decided to put our heads together to create an inviting table with an approachable menu – an attempt to inspire the same intimate gatherings that we both love so much. It’s our hope that this will inspire you to connect with your loved ones this holiday season, even just for a simple supper in between planned festivities. After all, the very act of gathering family and friends is what truly matters. Fussing over the details of the menu and table are the redundancies that we can all do without.

The dishes we created are simple and best shared over a casual, family-style setting. They highlight the flavors of the season – hearty root vegetables, squashes, and apples – and come together without fuss. You might recognize the soup from a few posts back here. Black futsu squash provide a beautiful, nutty flavor that really distinguishes the soup from a typical butternut or acorn version. We also garnished it simply with just a drizzle of coconut milk and some fennel fronds we had on hand, but you really could do anything here – kale chips and seeds (like I did when I first posted the recipe), crispy sage, a sprinkling of turmeric, you get the idea.

For the main dish, we braised lentils slowly in a homemade vegetable stock with fennel, shallots, and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Taking inspiration from Karen of Sunday Suppers, we roasted a collection of root vegetables with their greens still attached – some beautiful parsnips from Krissy’s garden, carrots, turnips, and radishes – in cast iron skillets with just olive oil and salt until the vegetables were tender and their greens crisp. The vegetables require only a quick wash, otherwise there is really no prep needed. (As noted in the recipe, make sure to remove the greens from the parsnips before roasting as they can be poisonous. All of the other greens are safe and delicious, though).

Inspired by Aran (of Canelle et Vanille) and her beautiful, rustic tarts, we wanted to create a dessert that highlighted the sweet, flavorful apples of the season. In our tart, we filled a shortbread crust with thinly sliced, crisp apples and topped them with an oat crumble topping, full of holiday-inspired flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Both the crust and the crumb topping can be made in advance, making for a quick assembly whenever you’re ready to bake.

And, what dinner table would be complete without a delicious assortment of cheeses? For ours, we used a collection of Vermont Creamery cheeses – some cow’s milk, some goat’s – and tucked a few crackers and Concord grapes alongside them.

While the dishes work beautifully together as a full menu, they each would also make for delicious contributions to a Thanksgiving dinner or other larger event. And, for those trying to satisfy a range of diets, the soup is vegan and the lentils can easily be adapted to be (just omit the tablespoon of butter).

For the table, Krissy worked her serious magic. Again, simplicity really was the focus. A natural linen made for an unassuming blank canvas, over which she placed seasonal decorations – a few black futsu squash (left over from our soup), some walnuts and almonds in their shells, and an arrangement of eucalyptus buds. She peppered the table with candles – both votive candles in smoky-hued water glasses, as well as white pillar candles. And, for each place setting she used beautiful white plates and bowls from Bartōn Crōft. It felt comfortable and relaxed – a table meant to be enjoyed, not just admired from afar.


A sincere thank you to Bartōn Crōft for sharing her stunningly beautiful ceramics with us, which we used to set our table, as well as Vermont Creamery for generously providing us with a delicious collection of their cheeses and butters, which never ever disappoint.

Most importantly of all, thank you Krissy for coming down and sharing your incredible talents with me. It was a genuine pleasure.



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black futsu squash soup


braised lentils with roasted root vegetables


apple tart





black futsu squash soup


serves 4


4 pounds (about 2) black futsu squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1 vidalia onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1½ cups whole coconut milk, plus more for garnish

Fennel fronds (or other fresh herb), for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut each half of squash into approximate 1-inch wedges and arrange in one layer on 2 (or 1 large) baking sheets. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil over top and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Massage the oil into the squash until every wedge is completely coated. Roast in the oven until very soft when pierced with a fork, about 30 – 35 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent and very soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, and coriander and cook for 3 – 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Using a spoon or your hands, scoop the cooled squash flesh from the skin and add to the pot. Discard the skin. Add the coconut milk and 1½ cups of water and stir to combine. Return the pot to high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes to reheat and meld the flavors.

Working in batches, blend the soup in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Once smooth, return the soup to the pot. At this point, you can adjust the thickness of your soup with water to your liking (we added 1 cup of water). Reheat the soup if needed and adjust the salt as necessary.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Drizzle coconut milk over top and top with fennel fronds to garnish.


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braised lentils with roasted root vegetables


serves 4


for the vegetables:

4 – 6 small parsnips, greens trimmed

1 bunch small carrots, greens attached

1 bunch radishes and/or small turnips, greens attached

¼ cup olive oil

salt, to taste


for the lentils:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

½ fennel bulb, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 ½ cups French lentils

5 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade), plus more if needed


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Halve any larger vegetables lengthwise, if needed, so they are all roughly the same thickness. On a large sheet pan, or several large cast iron skillets, toss the vegetables with the olive oil and salt to taste. Arrange in a single layer and roast, tossing once halfway through, until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife and their greens are crisp, about 25 – 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallots and fennel and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Simmer until the liquid has almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and the vegetable stock and bring to a boil over high heat and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have absorbed most of the broth and are tender, about 45 to 50 minutes, adding more broth throughout the cooking process if necessary.

Once cooked, spoon the lentils onto a platter and top with the roasted vegetables. Serve family style.


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apple tart


serves 4 – 6

note: both the crust and crumb topping can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the tart.


for the crust:

1 cup flour, plus more for rolling the dough

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

1 stick (115g) unsalted chilled butter, cut into cubes

2 – 3 tablespoons ice water


for the filling:

3 – 4 small, crisp apples (such as empire or gala)

1 lemon

1 tablespoon sugar


for the crumb topping:

½ cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cardamom

sprinkle of nutmeg

¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped


confectioner’s sugar, for serving


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Set aside a 14 x 4 ½-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom.

To prepare the crust: in a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter or your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough just comes together, taking care not to overwork your dough. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, halve and core the apples and thinly slice into half moons on a mandolin. Add the apple slices to a large bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the top. Toss to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, and spices. Add the butter and use your hands to work into the oat mixture. Set aside.

To assemble the tart: on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an approximate 16 x 6-inch rectangle, or until about 1/8-inch-thick. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll over the tart pan, allowing the excess dough to fall over the sides. Using your hands, gently push the dough into the tart pan and up the sides. Take care to not stretch the dough while you do this – if there are areas that are not covered by dough, just rip small excess pieces off the edges of the dough and press them into these areas as necessary. Use your rolling pin to gently roll over the top of the tart pan to trim the excess dough.

Fill the tart with the apple slices and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top. Sprinkle with the crumb topping and the chopped walnuts.

Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the apples are soft and the crumb topping and crust are golden, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes. Once cooled enough to handle, carefully remove the tart from the pan and transfer to a serving platter. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cut into wedges to serve.


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hand-rolled cavatelli pasta


I love pasta – making it, eating it, all of it. The therapeutic act of kneading the dough balances me, the comfort of eating it soothes me. If I’ve had a bad day, sit me down with a steaming bowl of pasta and a glass of red wine and I could forget all about it.

I’ve been making homemade pasta since before culinary school. I’ll never forget the discovery of it – to me, homemade pasta was always out of reach. It was something that only trained chefs or Italian grandmothers had any business making. When I tried my hand at it for the first time and was rewarded with delicate, golden strands that instantly brought me back to Tuscan candle-lit dinners, I couldn’t believe it. Since then, I haven’t stopped experimenting and I’ve learned that, believe it or not, making pasta is incredibly intuitive. Does your dough feel dry? Add liquid. Does it feel too wet? Add flour. And, really no matter what you do, as long as you end up with a cohesive dough, you will have delicious pasta.

My go-tos are typically spaghetti or fettuccini (mostly because those are the two settings on my pasta roller). But lately, I’ve taken to forming more unique shapes – fusilli, pici, cavatelli, orecchiette (though I haven’t quite mastered that one yet). The great thing about shapes is that (for many), you can skip rolling the dough, which is the most labor-intensive part of making pasta if you don’t have a roller. So, for all of you kitchen minimalists out there – do you have a counter? a knife? Great. You can make this cavatelli.

If you aren’t familiar with them, cavatelli resemble slightly elongated little shells. I’ve heard them referred to as the “hot dog bun” of pasta before, which is pretty accurate. They are a totally unfussy and quick shape to make and their process is relatively easy to get the hang of. Once cooked, they taste light and airy – almost like a pasta-form of gnocchi in a way – and their shell-like shape makes the perfect vessel for catching sauce.

The bulk of this recipe is for the actual pasta dough, though I served this cavatelli last night with a sage-infused cream sauce that was pure heaven so I wrote up a quick recipe for you. If you’re dairy-free, or just not a cream sauce lover, feel free to serve your pasta with any sauce of your choosing. Enjoy.


hand-rolled cavatelli pasta

with sage cream sauce


serves 4


for the pasta:

2 cups (250g) all-purpose or 00 flour, plus more if needed (I highly suggest weighing your flour)

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more if needed

½ teaspoon salt


To prepare the pasta dough: add the flour to a large work surface and form a mound. Make a well in the center of the mound and add the eggs, olive oil, and salt into the center of the well. Use a fork to first gently beat the wet ingredients and then slowly incorporate the flour into the wet mixture, starting with the inner edges and working outward, until a shaggy, sticky dough starts to form. At this point, knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, until completely smooth. Your dough should be dry enough that it does not stick to your work surface, but not so dry that it doesn’t form a nice, smooth dough. If you find your dough to be too dry, add an extra teaspoon of olive oil. If your dough is too wet, you can also add more flour, just a sprinkling at a time. Once your dough is smooth, wrap it tightly in plastic and allow to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes – 1 hour.

To form the cavatelli: divide the dough into small pieces. Working with one piece at a time (and rewrapping the pieces you aren’t working with to keep them from drying out), roll it into an approximate ½-inch-thick rope. Cut the rope into small pieces (about ¼ – ½-inch-thick). Using a pairing knife or butter knife, drag the sharp side of the blade sideways across the first piece of dough, using even pressure. The dough should stretch and then roll back into itself like a tightly rolled shell. Place on a semolina-dusted surface and repeat with the remaining dough. If you missed my Instagram story how-to (or even if you didn’t), Heidi of 101 Cookbooks recently shared a bunch of videos of Italian women making pasta, including this video of an amazing Puglian woman making hand-rolled cavatelli with a butter knife. She starts making the pasta around 1:55 of the video. Don’t feel badly if you aren’t as fast as her  ;  )

To cook: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cavatelli and cook until al dente (just taste them to see if they’re done – the cook time will vary greatly depending on the size and thickness of your cavatelli). Mine took 10 – 12 minutes.


for the sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

½ yellow onion, chopped

2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried)

8 leaves fresh sage


freshly ground black pepper

½ cup dry rose or white wine

1 ½ cups cream

¼ cup grated parmesan


In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and sage. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and soft but not browned, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add the wine and 2 cups water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low until there is only about ½ cup of liquid left, about 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and push on the solids to release any broth. Discard the solids and return the broth to the pot. Add the cream and parmesan and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat until the mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.


To serve


grated parmesan cheese

freshly ground black pepper


Add the cooked cavatelli to the warm cream sauce and toss. Divide the pasta and sauce between bowls and top each with grated parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.