Cappelletti is Italian for "little hats." They are served in chicken broth as a soup.
1 lb ground chuck
1 lb ground pork shoulder or country ribs
zest of 1 lemon
dried basil (about 1/2 tbsp)
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup of chicken broth
Brown meat in a large skillet. Add butter and sautee a few minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Stir together and then put the mixture through a meat grinder and into a large bowl. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and scrape the pan contents into the meat.
Add breadcrumbs and mix well. The mixture should be very moist but still holding together well. Add a tiny bit more chicken broth or water if necessary. Add a couple pinches of nutmeg and allspice. I don't know how much I put in, but they should be barely detectable. You don't really want to taste the spices, they should just kind of amplify the lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of dried basil. It should be fairly subtle. While you do this the mixture will thicken. Mix well and when seasoned to taste add two eggs and mix again well.
Refrigerate. Filling will be easiest to handle if cooled.
Make pasta dough (if you need to it's best to just google it or check Youtube -- there are very good detailed instructions there). About 6-7 eggs worth of pasta is the right amount to use up all the filling.
Roll out sections of dough to #5 on your pasta machine. On a well floured surface, cut out circles approximately 2 inches in diameter. I use a biscuit cutter, but my Grandma always used a tin can with both ends removed.
Place a ball of filling in the middle of each little pasta circle. The filling balls should be about 1/2 inch in diameter. Then fold the circle in half over the pasta ball and seal the edges. This is easier if you wet the edges first. If the dough sticks to your fingers flour them more. When you have the sealed half moon, then take the two corners and pull them back around to meet on the other side (again this is easier with a dab of water). Roll up the "brim" to make a "little hat." Use a toothpick to poke a little hole through to the filling. This will keep it from exploding when cooking.
Either allow to dry on a floured towel (check them they will need to be turned after a couple hours) and refrigerate or flash freeze in a single layer.
If you don't want to finish up all the filling, make Italian Wedding Soup (form meatballs, brown in butter, add to chicken broth with some orzo and spinach.)
You can use canned if you want. This is my recipe...
1 small chicken
2 gallons water
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
4 celery stalks, cleaned, leaves removed, cut into 4 inch lengths
4 carrots broken in half
1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
Small handful of peppercorns
Combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour, remove chicken, pick off meat (not too clean) to use it for something else, return carcass to broth and simmer for at least a couple of hours more. Let cool, and then strain in a colander.
Cooking the cappelletti:
Bring broth to a boil. Add cappelletti. Bring back up to a boil and cook, stirring occasional, with lid off, for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, stir, and let sit, covered, for 20 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to broth to taste, and if desired add a little dried parsely for color.
That sounds sooo good! A lot of work, too.
It's quite a bit of work. With kitchenaid pasta rollers and pasta mixer and my level of practice I can do about 10 dozen from start to finish (except broth) in about 3.5 hours. When I first started out, with a hand crank, it took me twice as long. That's why I give the backup recipe for the Italian meatball soup!
It was absolutely fantastic! Unbelieveably great. Pappers, you should have been there! :D
Other than gnocchi, I've never done much in the way of handmade pastas. I do make handmade dumplings, though :)
Dumplings, yum! Do you have a recipe posted here?
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