Cappeletti in BrothClick to Play

Cappelletti in Broth

Mary Ann Esposito

Cappelletti, “little hats” are plump meat filled pasta served in rich capon or chicken broth. The best are said to come from Gubbio where it is a tradition, as in many other parts of Italy, to have them on Christmas. Some historical references claim that the hat shape originated from the pointed hats that Spanish soldiers wore when they invaded Italy in the seventeenth century. Cappelletti can be pointed or round; the point is that no matter what the shape they are a delicate beginning to any Sunday dinner or special occasion. I will not deceive you, these are time consuming to make, but the reward is in every spoonful. Make them ahead, and freeze them. Use large eggs for the dough, and lean meats for the filling; do not skimp on the lemon zest. This recipe makes approximately 150 cappelletti. Six to eight are plenty for an individual serving. To serve six you will need two quarts of the broth and three to four dozen of the cappelletti.

Ingredients

Filling
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound boneless pork cutlet, cut into small chunks
1/4 pound boneless chicken, cut into small chunks
1/4 pound veal roast, cut into small chunks
1 large egg
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt to taste
Grinding black pepper to taste
Thin slices of lemon
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for sprinkling

Cappelletti Dough
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 3 1/4 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour

Directions

For the Filling
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan; brown the meat pieces well on all sides. Do this in batches if necessary; do not crowd the meat or it will not brown uniformly. As the pieces brown, remove them to a dish.

Grind the meats together in a food processor or meat grinder until they are almost a paste consistency; transfer the meats to a large bowl. Stir in the egg, cheese, parsley, zest, nutmeg, and salt, and pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until ready to fill the pasta rounds.

For the Dough
Whirl the eggs and salt together in a food processor or whisk them together in a bowl. Gradually add the flour until a ball of dough forms that is not tacky or sticking to your hands. What you want to achieve is a smooth, not too dry dough or it will be difficult to seal the edges of the dough when forming the cappelletti.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is silky and very smooth. Cut the ball into 4 pieces and work with one at time, keeping the rest covered. Flatten each piece with a rolling pin; run each piece through the rollers of a pasta machine to thin it out. Do not make it too thin or the filling will poke through the dough. If you can just see your hand when placed behind the sheet of dough, it is thin enough. Alternately use a rolling pin to thin the dough.

I like to use a 1-inch square cutter to cut out the dough; re-roll the scraps to make more. Place scant 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each piece square, then enclose the filling, folding the square in half to form a triangle. Bring the two ends together and pinch closed with your fingers. If the dough will not seal, brush a little water or beaten egg white along the edges before sealing the dough.

As you make the cappelletti, line them up on towel-lined baking sheets. Do not pile them on top of each other or they will stick together. Freeze them on the trays, and when frozen transfer them to heavy duty plastic bags. Take out as needed and cook them in boiling broth just until they bob to the surface. Ladle the cappelletti into soup bowls, add a thin slice of lemon, and sprinkle the top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

This recipe is featured on show 2226 – More Umbrian Cooking / Piu’ Cucina Umbra.

item recipe is featured in Episode 2226 of Season 22.

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Comments

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  1. Annmarie Ballaro's avatar

    Annmarie Ballaro

    | Permalink
    I grew up on this dish almost every Sunday. When my grandmother passed away in 1985 she had 4 bags in her freezer and they were like gold to us because we did not have the recipe written down. We are so grateful we found it in one of MaryAnn 's cookbooks. My father told me about the book. He used to work with MaryAnn at the phone company many many years ago and remembered she made them. They are still our favorite.
  2. Anna's avatar

    Anna

    | Permalink
    My family was northern Italy. The pasta was cut out when filled with a one inch hor dourve type cutter creating a small round (smaller than a nickel) ravioli shape. Cooked in chicken broth. We still make them, 500 at a time reserving from nov. thru the new year for each holiday. My grand kids dive into them. We also make a savory torta with potatoes, etc. I have both recipes.
  3. Anna's avatar

    Anna

    | Permalink
    My family was northern Italy. The pasta was cut out when filled with a one inch hor dourve type cutter creating a small round (smaller than a nickel) ravioli shape. Cooked in chicken broth. We still make them, 500 at a time reserving from nov. thru the new year for each holiday. My grand kids dive into them. We also make a savory torta with potatoes, etc. I have both recipes.

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