The shape of cavatelli - a hollow, curled pasta a little longer than a gnocchi -- looks tricker to make than it is. But all it requires is a cleared space on a counter or kitchen table and your fingertips. It can take a while to make a whole batch, though, so recruit a few extra hands to help if possible. It is quite alright if every piece does not look exactly the same.
To Make The Eggless Pasta Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. On low speed, drizzle in the water and mix until just combined. Knead the dough on medium-low speed for 3 minutes.
At this point, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should feel slightly tacky but not sticky. If the dough sticks to your fingers, add 1/4 cup more flour. Continue to knead the dough for 10 to 12 minutes. At this point the dough should feel warm and a little stiff. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let is rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the gluten to relax, which will make shaping the cavatelli easier.
To Shape The Cavatelli Pasta: After 30 minutes, the dough should feel strong but more malleable than when it was first removed from the mixer. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten the dough into a disk about 1/2 inch think.
Using a serrated knife, pizza cutter, or bench scraper, cut the disk in half, then, from the center, slice off a piece almost like you were cutting a piece of bread from a loaf. From that piece, cut off a thin strip of dough about the width of your index finger.
Pressing down on the dough lightly with your fingertips, roll the dough back and forth into a long, slender log about 1/2 inch diameter. If you need more traction to roll the dough, sprinkle a little water on your work surface. Cut the log crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Working with omne piece at a time, press down on the cut side firmly with your thumb (smashing one side of the dough) and flick it away from you until it curls up. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Once shaped, spread the pasta on a floured baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. At this point you can boil it or freeze it for future use.
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