ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tortina di Capelletti for Foodie Friday!

Hi everyone!

Oh. My. Goodness!

Have you ever had one of THOSE days? You know the kind- the kind where you're truly debating whether a good cry or running away would be the best option.
Today was one of THOSE days. 

'Nuff said.

We didn't want to miss our favorite weekly party- Foodie Friday at Gollum's (thank you Michael!!), so I'm just going to show you all a stuffed pasta dish that is a favorite of mine. I made it for a buffet supper that a client is having al fresco this evening. (I made a bit extra for home) Not a lot of pictures tonight as I'm headed out the door to deliver

Capelletti, literally translated, means little hats. Which is sort of what these little bundles look like. They are very similar to tortellini but, I think, just a bit more rustic looking.
Today's capelletti are a loose adaptation of a recipe by Lorenza De'Medici. I love her recipes as they are so very close to many of my Nonna's. These have a lovely filling of prosciutto, sausage, porcini and chanterelle mushrooms, and mortadella. Because the filling is meaty, I made the pasta with semolina which is a bit sturdier and has a slightly more hearty texture.

When we were in Italy for the summers of my childhood, we always spent at least a week at my Zia's villa in the mountains. 

There was a local taverna that served a spectacular dish of stuffed pasta which was brought to the table in a large braided bread bowl. I have served a similar dish on many occasions, but some years ago I saw a chef on TV serving a seafood pasta dish in puff pastry- lightbulb moment!

Now, when the occasion is a luncheon, or the pasta will be served as a "primo", I serve it in a puff pastry tart. 

"Andiamo alla Cucina!"

Tortina di Capelletti

I sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

scant 1/2 lb. mortadella (the piece I used was .45 lb.)

scant 1/2 lb. prosciutto ( the piece I used was .41 lb.)

1/4 lb. sausage (I used sweet)

1/4 cup dried mushrooms (I used a combination of porcini and chanterelles), soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain into a wire mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter and squeeze well. Reserve the waterfor the mushroom sauce

1 TBLSP juniper berries

1-2 TBLSP bread crumbs

2 large eggs

good pinch of nutmeg

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pasta dough (I used 3 cups flour, 1 cup semolina, 4 eggs, salt, and a small amount of cold water)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Roll out the puff pastry to fit into a tart pan with a removeable bottom. Prick bottom of pastry well. Line with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, remove pie weights and bake for 20 minutes more till golden brown.
I use a meat grinder for the filling, but it can probably be done in a food processor- Grind mortadella, prosciutto, sausage, mushrooms, and juniper berries together- I use the fine blade. Mix in eggs, bread crumbs, nutmeg, and cheese and refridgerate till the pasta dough is ready to be filled.
Roll pasta dough out in strips going through widest setting once, fold strip in half and go through same setting again. Continue passing through machine making settings thinner with each pass till you get to setting #5. Lay out the strip of pastry and drop small mounds of the filling in a line about an inch in from the long edge. Brush long edges and in between each mound with a brush dipped in water. Fold pastry over enclosing filling. Cut in between each mound and press all edges to seal. Bend 2 sides around into a little "C" shape and place capelletti on a floured cookie sheet. Cover and refrigerate till ready to cook
Bring a large pot of well- salted water to a boil and drop in the capelletti. Cook till tender- a few minutes. Use a large strainer spoon to remove and place in a bowl. Serve with your favorite sauce or the Mushroom Mascarpone Cream sauce below

Mushroom Mascarpone Cream Sauce

About 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and squeezed dry- chop coarsely

1 large clove garlic, crushed and minced

2 TBLSP olive oil

2 TBLSP unsalted butter

4 ounces mascarpone

1/2 cup heavy cream

Saute garlic in oil. Swirl in butter, add mushrooms and water reserved from capelletti filling. Cook down till thick, stir in mascarpone till melted then cream. Warm and pour over pasta. Serve with lots of shaved parmesan

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. ooooohhh...this sounds divine! Can't wait to try it!
    ;-D Kathleen

  2. Looks delicious, but I see something chocolate with meringue just below this post. How did I miss that one? I may have to sneak a bite. You'll find me there next. :-)

  3. This looks fabulous! Thanks for asking about Trey. He's having surgery in a few weeks, poor guy.

  4. This looks amazing...thanks so much.

  5. Looks and sounds divine! I can't wait to try this one.

    Sorry you had a bad day. Hope it's improved!


  6. p/s I'm hosting a giveaway, in case you want to come by and enter. Have a great weekend,


  7. Oh man! If your capelletti are stuffed with a spicy beef/ pork concoction... I am gonna invade the next dinner party you cook for! YUM YUM! Droop drool!
    Thanks for inviting me over to eat!

  8. This is a lightbulb moment for me too Pattie:D

  9. Looks Delicious! The lace tablecloth is so pretty too with plated tortina. I hope today is better and your childhood summers sounded heavenly.Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Emelia.

  10. Oh this looks so good. I love all of your recipes. I need to try this one.
    Thanks also for your sweet birthday wishes, I had a fabulous day. Hugs, Marty

  11. This sounds like comfort food at its best, Pattie! Pasta and puff pastry heaven.

  12. you really outdid yourself with this dinner!! you pushed it way over the top with your marscapone sauce!
    have a great weekend!

  13. It sounds so delicious. I am sure your family appreciates that you made some for them, too.

  14. Oh yum! This looks and sounds really good!
    I hope your day goes better tomorrow.

  15. Tortina are great for parties. I usually make them with a top crust and it makes it a lot easier to eat. Tortina are often served in Italy but not as well known in the US. Thanks for the recipe.


  16. I really do like the way this sounds. I hope today will be a better day for you. Blessings...Mary

  17. Oh, this just makes me weak in the knees and your presentation in the puff pastry shell just takes it over the top. I am going to make this.

    When we were in college one of my best girlfriends (who is part Italian) and I went to the library and got Italian cookbooks and we would make all kinds of tortellini, ravioli, canneloni, etc. This looks just incredible.

    Loved the Zuppa too. I was out of town so missed that. Looks like a great combo for Sunday dinner.

  18. Hi girls!

    Just trying to catch up here.

    This looks just delish! But, i am not sure where I would find juniper berries at. Hum, I will have to start looking around.

  19. Yummmmmy! :) Thanks for stopping by the blog today! I guess I'm out of the loop, or maybe a year behind schedule? I'm loving the RL stuff for fall, but no way I could live with it for very long. Too muted, you know? Then again, I started this love affair with brown that is certainly unhealthy! LOL !

  20. That looks wonderful Pattie, and so does the meatless dish! How are things going? Any decisions?


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