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Cavatelli with Arugula & Ricotta Salata

Rita Maas

Servings: four.

Ricotta salata is a smooth, firm sheep’s milk cheese that’s lightly salted. If you can’t find it, use feta cheese and soak it for an hour in cold water before you grate it.


  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped imported black olives, such as Gaeta or Kalamata
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne; more to taste
  • 1 lb. dried cavatelli
  • 1 large bunch arugula (about 8 oz.), rinsed, dried well, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (about 7 oz.) grated ricotta salata or feta

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 800
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 300
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 11
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 18
  • Cholesterol (mg): 45
  • Sodium (mg): 790
  • Carbohydrates (g): 99
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 24


  • In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, olives, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the cavatelli until al dente. Drain it well and return it to the pan. Add the arugula and the olive-oil mixture, folding gently until the ingredients are combined. Let sit until the arugula has wilted, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the ricotta salata just before serving.


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