Do you know which is the most typical dish in our area for Christmas lunch? Definitely the cappelletti in broth!!
There is a certain difference between “cappelletti” and “tortellini”, that is the filling, the dough and the texture of the pasta sheets in addition to the shape and origins. Another custom we have in our area is to add the “salsiccia matta” – literally mad sausage 🙂 – to the ingredients of the broth. This sausage is made up of various pork cuts minced with garlic and red wine. For us the preparation of this dish it is a family gathering as well as the actual Christmas lunch. And on these occasiones, since we don’t have to put anything in our mouth, the chit-chat never stops! Below our family recipe:
THE PASTA DOUGH
Ingredients (for 2 pasta sheets for about 600-700 g of cappelletti)
4 fresh eggs
400 g flour.
Pour flour on working surface and make a fountain with a hole in the middle of the flour. Break the eggs into the middle of the fountain. Gently beat the eggs inside to absorb the flour. While beating the eggs, add a little flour at a time with the tip of the fork. When all the flour is mixed and you have a smooth consistency, knead the dough by pressing and folding gently with your hands. Then roll the dough out into a long rectangular shape thin sheet with the help of a rolling pin (or with the pasta machine).
Be careful to do the cappelletti the dough should remain wet.
Ingredients (for about 1 kg of cappelletti)
300 g circa lean beef meat
100 g circa lean pork meat
200 g sausage
300 g circa turkey breast
150 g circa diced mortadella
100 g circa grated Parmesan cheese
150 g circa butter
nutmeg, one lemon, salt and pepper to taste
Dice the meat, join the sausages without skin and put everything in a pot with butter and oil. Salt, add pepper and cook until the water evaporates (cover the pot with a lid). When the meat is almost cooked add the mortadella dices. Cook the meat keeping the lid on for further 2 min. Mix the meat only and then put it back in the sauce, add the grated lemon, the Parmesan cheese and the nutmeg to taste and mix until you get a uniform dough.
And now it is time to prepare your homemade cappelletti!
1. Cut the dough into squares, be careful that it’s fresh and a little sticky otherwise it will be hard to seal your cappelletti
2. Place a little bit of the filling in the center of each piece square
3. Fold the dough over to make edges meet. At this stage, if the dough is dry, brush a little water along an edge to hold the dough together
4. Close the dough WELL in a ring in the shape of a small hat. Again, if needed, use some water to seal
5. Fold the dough “in excess” to give the cappelletti their traditional shape
6. Let the cappelletti sit and dry on a tray with a sprinkle of semolina flour or a little wheat flour or strawpaper and covered with clean and dry linen.
If you wish, once your cappelletti are ready, you can freeze them but to prevent them from stitching keep them separate in a tray and envelop them after at least 15 minutes.
Half capon meat
Half calf muscle
1 “Salsiccia matta” (if you like its flavour)
1. Wash the carrots and cut the edges. Wash the celery ribs and cut them into 2-3 parts
2. Peel the onion and stab the ends with a knife
3. Turn on the stove and singe any capon feathers. Rinse the capon under running tap water
4. Put water in a big pot and salt it. Add the veggies and the meat then cover the pot with a lid and cook on high heat until the water boils. Then turn your heat down to a minimum and, half cover and let it simmer slowly for abour 2 hours
5. During cooking, from time to time, check the pot, skim off foam from surface and mix. Use a narrow mesh skimmer to skim off the fat, foam and residual meat rising to the top during cooking
6. After 2 hours, turn off the stove, drain the meat and the veggies, filter the broth using a small colander. Let the broth cool and keep it in the pot or in a hermetically sealed container in the refrigerator. When you want to use it remove the layer of fat from the surface and voilà the broth is now ready for your delicious cappelletti!!
AND…MERRY CHRISTMAS or simply BUON APPETITO!