Cappelletti di Romagna
The “cappelletti” (“i caplet”) are considered the most noble and rich first course of the Romagna, being rich in wellness symbology and greatness of any equal food.
One of the most appreciated whishes pronounced in occasion of the first day of the new year, was to whish “cappelletti on the table for all year long”.
In the Romagna are produced two kinds of cappelletti: the first one stuffed with cheese and the second one with meat.
In the Ravenna suburbs (Russi, Cotignola, Lugo, Bagnacavallo, Fusignano and Alfonsine) the cappelletti are stuffed only with cheese, but this could changed in accordance to the own familiar traditions.
First of all, the dough is prepared on a wooden board by using flour, eggs (enough to absorbe the flour) and possibly some tap water. here, the famous “elbow grease” of the azdora (the dialect name of the woman preparing the pasta), comes to play an important role in order to obtain a fine, soft and lightly rough dough. then, with a pastry fluted wheel, large square pieces of 4/6 cm each side are diced. The stuffing is prepared apart, by mixing in a pot soft cheese, parmesan, eggs, a pinch of nutmeg and pepper and fine salt.
In the stuffing, white roasted grinded meats like chicken breast, turkey, pork fillet and fine sausage are added. as opposed to the romagna’ traditions, the mortadella is added, as soon as approaching to the emilia area. Then a spoon of this compound is placed in each little square slice of pasta and quickly closed. According to the traditions, the piece of square pasta is folded on itself (like a half moon) making match the two points; theese are crushed with a circular movement, giving them the original shape of the cappelletto.
In the romagna, the best way to enjoy the cappelletti is in a good and flavoured smoking broth. they are put in a white or floral ceramic bowl, and positioned in the center of the dining table. Upon serving, 15 minutes of rest is recommended, in order to better appreciate the taste. then it is added a generous quantity of parmesan. the cappelletti should not be overcooked or remain too firm; and they must be left in the pan in their broth to rest.
Moreover, it is possible to taste the cappelletti with a meat sauce, parmesan and a nut of butter (without broth).
The deliciousness of this dish is such, that people challenges each other in eating contest, infact the person who is able to eat the largest quantity, is the cappelletti-guzzler of the year. some of them can gulp down as much as 400 or 500 pieces of cappelletti, eaten altogheter in a single row. this habit leads every year to the death of some persons, due to severe indigestion.
In ancient times, the cappelletti where the main course on every Christmas tables, the long awaited, because this stuffed pasta was prepared principally only during very few special events and feasts of the year. even the most unfortunate families at Christmas time, used to cook cappelletti. These ones were prepared the day before or the Christmas night itself, and all the women of the family were happily involved. Even children gave their little help to close the square dices of pasta, according to the distinctive swift movement, in order to avoid the breaking or the roughness of the pasta.
First of all, for a good tasting of the cappelletti, it should be primarily considered theirs stuffing, “e cumpens”, and not the quality of the pasta.