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Nonna Galasso's Meat Cappelletti in Brodo

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 Some historical references claim that the hat shape originated from the pointed hats that Spanish soldiers wore when they invaded Italy in the seventeenth century.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

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 2509

Comments

  1. Kathy's avatar

    Kathy

    Just made some today for our daughter who will be forty years old tomorrow. Instead of meat filling we make ours with cheese filling. My grandparents lived in Santarangelo di Romagna Italy!-- about four miles west of Rimini by the Adriac Sea.
  2. Jim's avatar

    Jim

    The meat filling is what makes this dish so amazing. You cannot find this anywhere in America.
  3. Carolyn's avatar

    Carolyn

    There are 3 local families with pasta businesses here in NEPA where we have bought ours as long as I can remember. But I've made my own and they are surely a treat, although a lot of work. That's why they are so expensive. I've wanted to make them again for a long time and this may be just the nudge I need. After I get all our Christmas ravioli made/frozen. Usually make over summer.

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