Homemade Cavatelli Pasta with Oyster Mushrooms and Sausage.

Homemade Cavatelli Pasta with Oyster Mushrooms and Sausage; recipe from Puglia.

This yummy homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage is a traditional dish from Puglia in Southern Italy. There, they use cardoncelli aka king oyster mushrooms, but you can use other types of mushrooms too.

homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage

Since starting this blog, I have become rather addicted to pasta sauces with sausage meat. Previously, I had never used sausage meat myself in pasta dishes. What a lot of pastaliciousness I was missing!!! There are many different sausage pasta sauces throughout Italy. Among those also here on the Pasta Project are gramigna with sausage ragu, a traditional recipe from Emilia-Romagna, and pasta alla Norcina, from Umbria.

homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage

Another favourite sausage pasta recipe of mine is tagliolini alla Langerola, from Piemonte! And, I also love bigoli pasta with luganega sausage from here in Veneto where I live. Each of these recipes has a particular taste as a result of the type of sausage used (normally different kinds of local pork sausage), as well as the other ingredients and the type of pasta used.

ingredients for homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage

This homemade cavatelli with oyster mushrooms and sausage is as delicious as any of the other sausage pasta recipes I have mentioned and a bit special coz I served it with homemade cavatelli pasta. But, of course you can used dried cavatelli instead!

homemade cavatelli pasta

The pasta.

If you have seen my post about cavatelli you will have read that this is probably the most popular type of homemade pasta in Southern Italy. I have long wanted to try my hand at making it myself. Having seen cavatelli made in Sicily and on various videos, I decided that this is a pasta most people can manage to make, including me! In fact, I was very happy with how my homemade pasta turned out for this homemade cavatelli with oyster mushrooms and sausage recipe. I made ridged cavatelli (cavatelli rigate) using an gnocchi board but you can also make smooth ones with this recipe.

sausage meat, tomaoes and mushrooms prepared for homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage recipe

The dough.

The dough for homemade cavatelli is simple; no eggs, just durum wheat semolina flour, tepid water and salt. Some people also add olive oil, but I didn’t. Others use two types of flour; ‘00’ durum wheat flour together with the semolina flour I mentioned before. Italians call this flour ‘semola di grana dura rimacinata’. This means that it has been milled twice to make it finer. What Italians call semola is not the same as what people call semolina in English speaking countries. Although both are made from durum wheat, semolina is coarser, more like corn meal. Semola is finer.  Semola is more popular in Southern Italy because most homemade pasta is eggless. It is also the flour used in making most types of commercial and artisan dried pasta.

garlic, sausage meat and oyster mushrooms cooking in frying pan

The mushrooms.

The mushrooms typically used in this homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage recipe are known as cardoncelli in Puglia. Cardoncelli (Pleurotus eryngii) are the largest of the oyster mushroom genus. In fact, they are also called king oyster mushrooms. They aren’t usually eaten raw because they don’t have much flavour.  But, they have been popular in Italy since the times of Ancient Rome. These highly prized mushrooms look similar to other oyster mushrooms, but are darker, meatier and richer in flavour when cooked.

chopped peeled tomatoes, oyster mushrooms and sausage meat in frying pan

I used other oyster mushrooms for this recipe, as I couldn’t find cardoncelli. However, the sauce was very flavourful even though these oyster mushrooms had a milder taste than cardoncelli. You could also use shiitake or even porcini or a mix of different mushrooms. But, porcini will change the taste of the sauce because they have such a strong flavour.

sauce for homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage in frying pan

Other ingredients in this homemade cavatelli with oyster mushrooms and sausage recipe.

Apart from the ingredients to make the pasta and the mushrooms, I used fresh Italian pork sausages, sauce tomatoes, garlic, white wine, bay leaves and sheep’s ricotta. In Puglia, the most common ricotta for this recipe is ricotta marzotica.

homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage

The cheese.

This is a type of salted ricotta usually made from sheep’s milk. The name ricotta marzotica comes from the period of the year they make this cheese, around March-April (‘marzo’ means March in Italian). However, since it’s a ripened cheese you can usually buy it all year round (at least in Puglia!). I didn’t use marzotica ricotta but another sheep’s ricotta that’s similar. If you can’t find marzotica ricotta you can also use Sicilian ricotta salata (salted ricotta) or even feta! Pecorino Romano or Greek mizithra can also substitute salted ricotta.

homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage

A perfect autumn/winter dish.

Homemade cavatelli with oyster mushrooms and sausage is a perfect comforting autumn/winter dish with a rich flavour. The sauce comes together pretty quickly and doesn’t take long to cook. Of course, if you use homemade cavatelli, preparation times will be longer. But, making your own pasta is such a satisfying things to do! However, if you don’t feel up to trying your hand at homemade cavatelli, use the dried version or orecchiette. Orecchiette are also often served with this recipe in Puglia!

homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage

If you make this homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out and if you liked it. So, please leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page.

Buon appetito!

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5 from 26 votes
homemade cavatelli pasta
Homemade cavatelli
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr

This easy to make Southern Italian pasta comes from Molise and Puglia but is popular throughout Southern Italy. It's perfect with both meat based and vegetable based sauces.

Course: Homemade Pasta
Cuisine: Italian, Molise, Puglia, Southern Italian
Keyword: cavatelli, eggless pasta, homemade pasta, pasta
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 250 g Italian semola flour 9oz (semola di grana dura rimacinata)
  • 135 ml water (4.5 oz) tepid (boil then allow to cool)
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Pour the flour into a bowl. Add the salt and mix. Make a well in the middle and pour the water in the well. Slowly start mixing the water with the surrounding flour. Gradually incorporate all the flour and water and then turn the dough out onto a surface for kneading. 

  2. Start kneading the dough. If it is too dry add more water, only a bit at a time. If it is too sticky add a little more flour. It should be similar to play dough consistency. 

  3. Continue kneading for 5-10 minutes until it is smooth and is not sticky at all. Let it rest covered or wrapped in plastic wrap for 10 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets with semola flour. Divide dough into 8 pieces; keep covered with plastic wrap. Roll one piece at a time into a long rope, about 8mm (1/3 in) in diameter, then cut rope into 2 cms (3/4-in) long pieces. 

  5. Using the tips of your index and middle fingers, firmly press each piece and pull dough toward you so it lengthens slightly and forms a curl in the middle. 

  6. Transfer pieces to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. I used a gnocchi board so instead of forming the pieces on a flat surface I rolled them down the gnocchi board to create ridges at the same time.

  7. Cavatelli can be refrigerated, covered, up to 4 hours. Or freeze the pasta pieces on a sheet or a tray. Once frozen, transfer to a resealable bag. The cavatelli keep for up to 3 months. There's no need to defrost before cooking.

Homemade cavatelli pasta

See the video from Pasta Grannies below to see ridged cavatelli being made in Puglia.

5 from 26 votes
homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage
Homemade Cavatelli Pasta with Oyster Mushroom and Sausage
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

This yummy homemade cavatelli with oyster mushrooms and sausage is a traditional dish from Puglia in Southern Italy.  

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Puglia, Southern Italian
Keyword: cavatelli, oyster mushrooms, pasta recipe, puglia, sausage pasta
Servings: 3
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 320 g cavatelli pasta 11 oz (homemade or dried)
  • 300 g pork sausage (10 oz) skin removed and chopped
  • 250 g oyster mushrooms (9 oz) In Puglia they use cardoncelli/king oyster mushrooms
  • 250 g plum tomatoes (9 oz) peeled and chopped
  • 150 g tomato passata (5 oz) I use Cirio passata rustica
  • 50 g salted sheep's ricotta (2 oz) In Puglia, they use marzotica ricotta
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 tsp peperoncino flakes (red chili pepper)
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
  1. Clean and cut the mushrooms into slices, peel and crush the garlic, remove the skin from the sausages and chop into small pieces, peel and chop the plum tomatoes. Chop the parsley.

  2. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan or skillet, add the garlic peeled and slightly crushed and fry.

  3. Add the chopped sausage meat and brown a little then add the mushrooms previously cleaned and cut into strips. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the white wine. Let the alcohol evaporate.

  4. Add the peeled tomatoes. Crush them with a fork and, after a few minutes of cooking, add the tomato passata.

  5. Season with a pinch salt, peperoncino and black pepper and add bay leaves, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the garlic.

  6. In the meantime, put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil. Bring to the boil again and add the pasta. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet (if dried). Fresh cavatelli will rise to the surface when they are ready, remove with a slotted spoon. Save a cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. 

  7. Finally, remove the bay leaves and add the cavatelli to the pan with the sauce. Mix together. If the sauce seems dry, add a little of the saved pasta cooking water. Add chopped parsley. Stir in the grated marzotica ricotta.

  8. Serve immediately with more grated ricotta if required.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can be made with orecchiette or other types of short pasta.

Instead of marzotica ricotta you can use ricotta salata, feta, Pecorino Romano or Greek mizithra.


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homemade cavatelli pasta with oyster mushrooms and sausage

Watch this video from Pasta Grannies to see ridged cavatelli being made in Puglia Here, they use one finger. I used 2 to make bigger cavatelli.

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  • Avatar
    December 28, 2018 11:51 pm

    this is fantastic ! made me very hungry

    • Jacqui
      December 29, 2018 1:00 pm

      Thank you Ronald! Happy you like this recipe!

  • Avatar
    Sophia Henri
    October 20, 2018 6:57 pm

    Another mouth-watering masterpiece from La Cucina di Jacqui! On my list to try soon! xxx

  • Avatar
    October 20, 2018 4:28 pm

    What a hearty and comforting pasta dish, I love that it’s made with italian sausage and oyster mushrooms are among my favorite, this dish goes right into my meal plan!

  • Avatar
    October 19, 2018 6:58 pm

    bless you for more sausage recipes! i ve cooked only nyt’s bittman recipr, “the minimalist” which has only 1 tbs butter, sausage, 1/2 cup white wine, romana cheese added at the end, & pasta. but you bring us christmas: choices galore. thank you so much. you’re the best.

  • Avatar
    October 18, 2018 7:30 pm

    That looks so delicious! I have never ventured to make my own pasta! You make it look easy enough that even I may be able to tackle it! I love sausage with pasta sauces and these mushrooms look amazing!

  • Avatar
    Katie Crenshaw | A Fork’s Tale
    October 17, 2018 3:17 pm

    This homemade cavatelli pasta looks FANTASTIC. I am drooling over the ingredients. My stomach is growling thinking about how good it must taste. I have to make this soon.

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:16 pm

      Aww thank you Katie! Homemade pasta doesn’t look as perfect as store bought but it sure tastes better! This sauce is really good too! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

  • Avatar
    Immaculate Ruému
    October 17, 2018 1:52 pm

    I love freshly made pasta. This together with the sauce looks so hearty!

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:17 pm

      Grazie Immaculate! Yes homemade pasta is the best! This is a great autumn sauce for when the days get colder! Very hearty!

  • Avatar
    October 17, 2018 12:49 pm

    So SO delicious! I love oyster mushrooms and I never have enough of them. They one of the best mushrooms there are. This dish looks amazing and I must give it a spin as soon as. Such a nice and fresh looking ingredients, superb!

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:18 pm

      Thank you so much dear Ramona! I also love oyster mushrooms! I’m sure you’ll really enjoy this dish!

  • Avatar
    Shashi at Savory Spin
    October 17, 2018 12:17 pm

    Wow – you make making homemade pasta look so easy – and not to mention DEEEELICIOUS!

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:19 pm

      Thank you Shashi! Homemade pasta is such fun to make and tastes so much better than store bought even if it doesn’t look so perfect!

  • Avatar
    Danielle Wolter
    October 17, 2018 12:04 pm

    Oyster mushrooms are some of my favorite mushrooms! I’m so excited about this recipe, it sounds delicious!

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:20 pm

      Thank you so much Danielle! Oyster mushrooms are one of my favourite’s too and so delicious in this recipe!

  • Avatar
    Mary Bostow
    October 17, 2018 10:53 am

    This recipe looks super easy and full of ingredients my family loves. Looking forward to trying soon.

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:21 pm

      I’m sure you’ll really enjoy this dish Mary! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Avatar
    October 17, 2018 10:47 am

    I really need to try making my own pasta more often – this looks so easy. Total comfort food too.

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:22 pm

      This particular pasta is pretty easy and fun to make Danielle! I hope you’ll give it a try!

  • Avatar
    Kylie Archer
    October 17, 2018 8:54 am

    I’m going to try this pasta out! I’ve made many different types over the years, but I’ve never made cavatelli! Can I adopt the Nonna from Puglia? She’s adorable!

    • Jacqui
      October 18, 2018 12:23 pm

      Cavatelli are pretty easy to make Kylie. I’m sure you’ll love making and eating them! Yes I love the nonna from Puglia too!

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