Pasta is essentially flour with either water or eggs. Some people some add oil. Different pastas are generally for different purposes.
In our village of Foglianise, as with much of Campania, the pasta that is often made is called Cavatelli. It comes from the dialect word 'cecatielli' which means to be crafted with skill. Each and every piece is shaped with the hand. The recipe dates back to the 1200's and the reign of Emporor Federico II di Svevia. (Who is a fascinating guy and worth checking out.)
For 4 people
125g coarse semolina flour
275g farina di grano duro flour
More or less 180ml water, add as much as you need to form a dough
Pinch of salt
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
Combine flour and salt
Make a well in the middle of the flour, pour in some water and the oil and bring together. Keep adding water until you have a firm dough and knead for several minutes
Put through the pasta machine. Set the machine to its thickest setting , usually 1 and roll
Once its rolled, fold back over on its self and roll again
You want the pasta to have a sheen to it, to be at one with its self. We would say to roll and fold around 10 times.
Cut the sheet into 3cm strips, and then cut this strip into 1 cm wide pieces.
Now the pieces are ready to shape. 3 fingers - index, middle and ring. Place your fingers along the top edge and pull down, rolling the pasta into a kind of tube
Leave for a minimum of 30 minutes to dry.
Cook in plenty of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes.
You can freeze the cavatelli, cook from frozen for 5 minutes.