ca·​va·​tel·​li | \ ˌkä-və-ˈte-lē How to pronounce cavatelli (audio) \

Definition of cavatelli

: pasta in the form of small shells having rolled edges

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First Known Use of cavatelli

1945, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cavatelli

borrowed from Italian, from dialectal (Molise) cavatièllə, chęvętiéllə (masculine plural), diminutive of caviatə, chęvatə “hollowed out pasta made from semolina and usually potato,” from plural of cavatə, chęvatə “hollowed out, concave,” from past participle of cavà, chęvà “to hollow out” (Tuscan cavare)

Note: Dialect forms are from Ernesto Giammarco, Dizionario abruzzese e molisano, vol. 1, Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo, 1968; the symbols é and è represent open and close e respectively in tonic syllables, and ę open e in an atonic syllable.

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The first known use of cavatelli was in 1945

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Cite this Entry

“Cavatelli.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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