1/2 lb ricotta cheese -- strained
pinch salt pinch pepper 1/2 lb flour
Method: Place ricotta and egg with salt and pepper in a large bowl. With a fork, beat egg and cheese until well combined. Place flour on a flat, smooth work surface (preferably wood). Create a small well in middle of flour. Pour cheese-egg mixture into well.
Draw some of the flour over the well, mixing it in with a fork a little at a time until egg mixture is no longer runny. Draw the sides of the mound together with your hands. Work the mixture together with your fingers and palms until it is smooth and well intergrated.
Continue to knead the dough by hand until it is smooth. If dough seems too moist, just add a little more flour. At this point, pull away small balls of dough about the size of a nickel. Pull away about 10 at a time and cover remaining dough with plastic wrap.
Place a dough ball in the palm of one hand and flatten with the other. Roll out dough, moving hands in opposite directions until it is roughly 3-inches long and about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a towel. Repeat process with remainder of dough. Be careful not to overlap the cavatelli. Allow pasta to dry for at least 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour to keep individual pieces from sticking.
Store in a cool, dry place until ready to use, up to 24 hours. To freeze leftover pasta for future use, sprinkle liberally with flour, place in a plastic bag and seal.