The Bear’s grandmother made great cavatelli. She never measured; she just worked on it until it “came nice”. One day, I stopped her and measured the ingredients. The recipe below is as close as I could come to matching what she did.

8 cups flour
1 cup corn meal
3 teaspoons oil
3 eggs beaten 1-1/2 tsp salt

Combine the ingredients and add boiling water a little at a time until the dough is smooth and fairly solid. Rub the oil on the dough until it is fully coated. Put the dough in a bowl and cover it with a wet dish towel. Let the dough rest about 1 hour; it should be really smooth.

Shape the dough into a long thin loaf and cut off 2-inch sections. Roll each section out flat. Put a little flour on top, then cut to form thin strips, about one-half inch wide. Unfold the strips and cut to make little pieces, about an inch to 3/4 inch long.

Place the pieces on a floured, wooden board. To shape a piece into a shell, place your index finger on it, apply a little pressure, and pull it towards you on the board until it curls into a shell.

Let the shells dry before cooking in boiling water. The shells are done when they start to float. Drain and toss in tomato sauce.

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