Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Today we will be talking about cappelletti, a stuffed pasta born in Romagna and spread throughout Lazio, Marche, and Umbria.
Cappelletti is made with 00 flour and eggs. The filling, called compenso, can be meat and spices or a mix of at least three soft cheeses like Ricotta, Parmigiano, Stracchino, or Squacquerone, depending on the area. They are typically served in capon or other meat broth, but dressed in a good meat ragu’ they are also to die for!
People from Romagna say that ‘there is no Romagna without CAPPELLETTI!’ In this beautiful part of Italy, cappelletti (or caplét in dialect) is the most famous fresh pasta. Here, the making of cappelletti becomes a feast where all the women and children gather around the table on Christmas Eve to make the cappelletti for Christmas Day.
Enjoyed initially during Christmas, they can be easily found all year round now, so you don’t need to wait until Christmas, let’s make them today!
Today, I will be sharing a recipe from my friend, Federica Cortezzi Lapthorne, who lives near Cesena and makes the best Cappelletti I have had. You can find more recipes from Romagna in her blog here.
And if you lucky enough to be around Cesena, these are the places to visit to find the best Cappelletti:
CAPPELLETTI ROMAGNOLI WITH CHEESE
Makes 5 serves
280g 00 flour
3 medium-sized eggs
100g soft cheese (Casatella di Romagna or Stracchino)
50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
100g of Squacquerone cheese (3 kinds of cheese are usually the heroes in this recipe, but being in Romagna, I also like to add squacquerone cheese for more flavour)
Freshly grated nutmeg
*In Australia you can find a great variety of cheese, including Stracchino, Ricotta, Parmigiano and Squacquerone at Tht's Amore Cheese
Ragu’ Bolognese or 1lt chicken stock.
- Rolling pin or pasta machine
- A pasta wheel cutter
- A medium pot for cooking cappelletti
Making the dough:
Begin by making the pasta dough. Pour the flour onto a work surface and, with your fingers, create a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and stir with a fork to combine. Once the eggs are mixed into the flour, start using your hands to knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Making the filling: Mix the cheeses and season to taste with nutmeg. Transfer to a piping bag (or use a tablespoon and a fork).
Unwrap the dough and flatten it till 2mm thick with a rolling pin or a pasta machine (I use the setting 8 on my Marcato). Cut the dough into strips (just a few of them at first and keep the remaining sheet of the dough covered to avoid drying it out).
Take the pasta strips and cut them into 5cm squares. Place a small amount of filling (around a teaspoon) into the centre of each square.
Fold each square diagonally to create a triangle, carefully pressing together to remove any air bubbles. Bring the two widest corners of the triangle together and pinch them to create the shape.
Transfer the cappelletti to a tray dusted with flour (or a wooden board) to prevent the shapes from sticking together or drying out. Being quick is crucial to avoid the pasta squares drying out, so making cappelletti with someone else is better. Tradition says the entire family, for Christmas, would make cappelletti all together.
Head to my IG page to watch a video on how to shape Cappelletti!
Cooking and serving:
Once you have made all your cappelletti, you can serve it:
1) With RAGU’ BOLOGNESE: gently stir the cappelletti, cooked in salted boiling water (as soon as the pasta rises), mix with heated Ragù, in a big pan. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano to taste.
2) In a Chicken STOCK: gently warm the stock in a pan until it reaches a gentle simmer. Cook the cappelletti in the simmering stock for 2–3 minutes.
If you are planning to visit Emilia Romagna, you may find great tips about food, art, and leisure in this blog here: https://www.travelemiliaromagna.it/
THE A-Z OF MAKING PASTA SHAPES
The A-Z of Making Pasta Shapes series is well underway on my social platforms, and I'm already having so much fun teaching you how to make pasta shapes. Have you managed to join in? I hope so, but if not, here's a recap.
Every week I share how to make particular pasta shapes corresponding with letters of the alphabet. Every letter will represent one or more pasta shapes. So far, I've covered A for Agnolotti, B for Blecs and for Busiate, C for Cannelloni and I'm continuing the letter C this week by showing you how to make Cappelletti.
Tune in to @_pastajourney_ social posts and stories to discover the best pasta recipes and how to perfect the shapes.
The A-Z of Making Pasta Shapes series wants to celebrate all handmade pasta shapes according to the tradition, so if you want to know more about a pasta shape, just put the name in the comments.