Recipe for Cavatini - Pizza Over Noodles

Imagine Your Favorite Pizza in a Bowl.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Imagine a big bowl full of pizza toppings over large shell pasta.
Source
Imagine a big bowl full of pizza toppings over large shell pasta.
Imagine a big bowl full of pizza toppings over large shell pasta. | Source
Source
Source
Source

A Shell Pasta Delicacy

The original Cavatini dish that I liked in a few Central Ohio Pizza Huts in the 1970s was made of pizza toppings and sauce served (poured) over large shell pasta, Conchingle, in a large round bowl. It was accompanied with a salad and garlic toast.

This incarnation of the dish left the casual dining chain's menu shortly in my town, but first, it became a casserole dish that contained fewer ingredients. That reduction may have been its downfall. However, a similar casserole dish is served on the food bar in a few Pizza Huts in town today. I still love the very first original, though - pizza in a bowl of pasta.

Photos on the Internet of the dish from that era show a casserole meal in an oval serving dish or in a large aluminum take-out serving pan. The pasta is what my friends call "corkscrews" or Rotini.

Pizza Huts that host weekday All-You-Can-Eat Pizza Buffets include some Rotini with meat sauce, but it is not the Cavatini of old. Other stores in the chain serve a Pizza Hut Cavatini that is baked in a pan and mentioned at the tend of this Hub.

Some folks began calling the dish "Cavatelli" as well, adding to the confusion about the dish, because Cavatelli is a type of noodle stuffed with any of a variety of fillings.

Pastas Historically Used in Cavatini

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My hero pasta for Cavatini - the large shell or Conchigle.Some Pizza Huts began serving the casserole with wagon wheels or Rotelle.
My hero pasta for Cavatini - the large shell or Conchigle.
My hero pasta for Cavatini - the large shell or Conchigle. | Source
Some Pizza Huts began serving the casserole with wagon wheels or Rotelle.
Some Pizza Huts began serving the casserole with wagon wheels or Rotelle. | Source

What Was the First Bowl of Cavatini Like?

CopyKat recipes on the Internet are those for the later, casserole-style meal, so I suspect that the original dish did not last long on most Pizza Hut restaurant menus.

The original dish included in its sauce: chunks of Italian sausage, slices of pepperoni, mild onions, mushrooms, coarsely chopped green peppers, and black olives. I especially recall the pepperoni and black olives as very flavorful.

I do not remember any cheese in the dish, but I suspect that shredded mozzarella was used and think it would be delicious and smooth in the dish today.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pizza Hut Italian Bistro. a new style building in Indianapolis, Indiana.Pizza Hut red roof building in Bremen, Indiana.
Pizza Hut Italian Bistro. a new style building in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Pizza Hut Italian Bistro. a new style building in Indianapolis, Indiana. | Source
Pizza Hut red roof building in Bremen, Indiana.
Pizza Hut red roof building in Bremen, Indiana. | Source

Homemade Cavatini

5 stars from 2 ratings of Homemade Cavatini

Homemade Cavatini

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves four bowls of Cavatini

Cavatini Pizza Sauce

  • 6-oz Can Tomato Paste, Use your favorite brand.
  • 1.5 Cups Water, Add additional water if sauce is too thick for your taste.
  • 1/3 Cup EVOO - extra virgin olive oil, Use your favorite brand.
  • 2 or more Cloves Garic, Peeled and minced.
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano, Or 1 TBSP Fresh Oregano, chopped.
  • 2 tsp Dried Basil, Or 1 TBSP Fresh Basil, chopped.
  • Coarse grained Salt - Sea Salt or Kosher, To taste.
  • Ground Black Pepper, To taste.

Ingredients to Add to the Sauce

  • Some light oil for browning and sauteing.
  • 8 oz (1/2 pound) Italian sausage, browned -- Don't break it up too much, but allow the sausage to stay in chunks the size of a quarter.
  • 4 oz. of sliced pepperoni,
  • 1/3 Cup chunked, mild white or yellow onions
  • 3/4 Cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/3 Cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 Cup black olive slices or whole black olives
  • Either grated Parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese for topping.

Cavatini Pizza Sauce Instructions

  1. Pour a little light oil a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the Italian sausage until just browned, leaving it in loose chunks and not broken into tiny pieces. Remove from the heat and drain meat on a paper towel laid on a plate.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, place the tomato paste, water, and oil together and stir to mix well.
  3. Place skillet over medium-high heat and sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms together until just softening and add all of these to the sauce. Turn heat off under the skillet.
  4. Add the pepperoni, green pepper, black olives, basil, and oregano to the sauce and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Cook one pound of large pasta shells according to package directions and drain. Divide the cooked pasta among four serving bowls.
  6. When the meats and vegetables in the sauce are done to your taste, remove sauce from heat and ladle over the pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese, which will melt. OR, place some cheese over the hot pasta and then ladle the sauce over the cheese. See what you like best.
  7. Place remaining sauce in an airtight container and place in refrigerator. Use it within a few days.

Calorie Comparisons

Food (equivalent serving sizes)
Calories
Homemade Cavatini in a Bowl Recipe
460
Pizza Hut Cavatini Casserole
460
Pizza with meats, cheese and vegetables and regular crust
485
Spaghetti with sauce and meatballs
580

For Comparison - Pizza Hut Cavatini in a Pan by Stephanie Manley

Cavatini in a Pan (Casserole)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
One version of the casserole type of Cavatini. This version is baked in a pan.
One version of the casserole type of Cavatini.
One version of the casserole type of Cavatini. | Source
This version is baked in a pan.
This version is baked in a pan. | Source

More by this Author


17 comments

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Cavatini? How did I miss it! This makes me want to boil some pasta and order a pizza, LOL. Instead, I will be sensible and try this awesome recipe!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for posting this for us--good ole' hearty caveating! Doubling up for larger groups will give me something different for crowds!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

@Rebeccamealey - Pizza and pasta together is good once in a while, like an Italian party!

I was thinking of pizza the other day when I remembered this dish. It's been a long time since the 1970s. Anyway, you can really use all of your favorite pizza toppings in the amounts you like best.

@RTalloni - That sounds good for a party, as you say! Thanks for the suggestion :)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Looks delicious, fits right in with our noodle dishes, I can hardly wait to try it.


ThatMommyBlogger profile image

ThatMommyBlogger 2 years ago from The Midwest

Yummy!


goatfury profile image

goatfury 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

Why have I never heard about this? Is this something you eat on a regular basis, or have made several times?


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I like this recipe and the ingredients sound tasty with such lovely flavors for a pizza.


goatfury profile image

goatfury 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

Thanks, Patty. I love finding out about new decadent foods! Well, new to me, anyway.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

Me too, and I love this one!


caseymel profile image

caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

Yum! I have never heard of this before.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

This is an interesting recipe. It's one that I will have to try. I love it when I get a bit of history with the dish.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

This looks pretty good to me. I will have to see if it is offered locally. I may have to try this recipe soon.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the comments! For all I know, it may be the version thought up by one manager in the chain long ago. I used to go to only one Pizza Hut. I wonder if it was served elsewhere?


Pages-By-Patty profile image

Pages-By-Patty 2 years ago from Midwest

It was served in other Pizza Huts. I live in Indiana and this used to be my favorite. After they quit offering it, I started making mine own also. Love this stuff!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

AH! I'm so happy to see that someone else enjoyed this dish in an actual Pizza Hut. We have good memories!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 23 months ago from The Beautiful South

Wow; glad I ran across this. Looks like a new favorite of mine! Great of you to share for I have never heard of it but one look and you know it has to be good. Thanks! ^+


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 23 months ago from North America Author

I like it a lot and hope you will try the recipe soon. I've I'd never ventured into Pizza Hut that year or so, I'd never have heard of it either!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working