29 Jul

Okay,    So it seems that everyone has not only heard of CAVATINI ,    you all  used to eat it at the Pizza Hut and thought it was the  greatest ……

Isn’t that just lovely.

Well  for a guy  who  wants  to grow up to be an old Italian man :

godfather    sitting in the shade , a cigar, and a fruit  juice glass of vino., listening to Deano and Frank …… Haaaaaay  !!    does it get any better than that.

….   I have never heard of this stuff.


So Using my powers of research and observation I found ”

Ancient Sicilian family, with residence in Palermo, of clear and noble nobility, propagated, over the centuries, to various regions of Italy.

crest This is their family crest

Also there is a brand of shoe:

Women’s Shoe –


2.199 00 $ 2,199 00

Legend has it that this recipe was created as a tribute to the opera “Norma”; composed by Vincenzo Bellini, who was from Sicily, where this dish originated.

Penne Alla Norma   



The Serenade by Schubert.7 Introduction from the 2nd Act and Add to dictionary Diva ” from the 1st Act of the Opera Norma , by Bellini

You remember…..

it’s that one about this gal called Norma ,

who is the high priestess of a druid temple.

whose in love with this Roman guy , Pollione,

who really is in love with this virgin,  Adalgisa,

it’s a pretty fiery love triangle………………….

but I digress……….


Upon researching  it ,    it seems that not only do you all  love it ….  ALOT ….  ,   alot of you think this is so good and   sophisticated   that you serve it for dinner when guests come to visit .

And it seems that one of the key pasta shapes in this dish  is the  “WAGON   WHEEL ”


They are actually called  ROTELLE  ( ROT –  tel  ) which is  really from the Italian word Ruota or wagon wheels.

You may also see it referred to a ruotine, ruote de carro, or most frequently, rotelle. .

The cartwheel is not a classic Italian shape, but due to the variety of color and entertaining shape they are a crowd favorite.  Because the spokes of the wheels are good for capturing flavor, these shapes are easy to pair. Rotelle pasta pairs nicely with meat, cream, seafood or vegetable sauces.


They are similar to    FIORI  ( fjo:ri  ) Fiori pasta.jpg        The Italian term fiori  means flowers

Rotelle should not be confused with ROTINI  .   ROTINI is a type of helix – or corkscrew – shaped pasta.

Nonetheless, some manufacturers such as Ronzoni produce a twisted pasta with that name.[1

Ronzoni Rotini Pasta 16 oz


 The name     ROTINI    comes from a 17th century Italian word meaning  “SMALL WHEELS “


You can see where the confusion might  arise.

So  , for this recipe this is what you gotta  get




So ,….I  made a batch and ….yes  Isabella…… MOLTO  BENE !!!!!   ( that’s   VERY GOOD  !!!!!!  ,     for our non-Italian friends)

I think this is going to be one of my new comfort foods and it’s easy to make.

Here’s my recipe ,  all you veteran CAVATINI eaters let me know what you think ?

2 Large green peppers – chopped

2 large onions – chopped

1/2 stick butter

extra virgin olive oil – you gotta have this in the kitchen at all times……  nough  said.

3 cloves garlic – smashed and minced

1 lb. pasta – mix it up:  rotelle ,  ziti,  farfalle,   , Shells ,   whatever   –     HEY !    stay away from the crappy store brands and  spend the extra 25 cents and get Barilla,  or  De CECCO    something Italian  …you want semolina flour.. …….    Capish  ?  

6 oz. pepperoni – sliced thin

1 cup  parmesan cheese – grated

8 oz. mozzarella cheese – shredded –  old timey box grater works   grate

( get it …GRATE ….. not GREAT   ….. although it   IS  great ….. I crack myself up ….. HA !  HA !!   )

1 lb. hamburger

3/4 lb. Italian sausage

1 Jar  28 oz. spaghetti sauce

1 jar 28 oz.  Marinara sauce    ( Surprisingly ,   turns out  Paul Newman’s  spaghetti and Marinara are  both pretty good ,  for store bought ) pnm


Use your home sauce ,    the one I showed you earlier and a jar of marinara.

Start oven  – 350′      –    middle rack

In a frying pan ,  melt butter with a good splash of olive oil ( It raises the smoke pt. – butter won’t burn as quick  )

Toss in peppers,  onions,  and garlic.    Sauté  on low till onion gets translucent.

Start water for pasta and follow box directions –  ( actually alittle bit shy of al dente )   –  drain ,  do not rinse ,   that way pasta will absorb sauce.

Brown hamburger and sausage together.

Butter a 11 x 13 casserole dish,  spread  1/2 of the  pasta on the  bottom ,   1/2 pepper mix,  1/2 pepperoni,  1/2  meat mix,  1/2 the sauce

1/2 mozzarella cheese.

Repeat and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top

Bake for 45 min till hot and cheese is melted but not brown – keep an EYE on it.

Let sit 10 min. cut into squares and serve


Eat and ENJOY !!!

PS I’m thinking next time , some sliced black olives mixed in would go



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