Would you like to make an Italian holiday tradition? For all of you pasta lovers out there, here is an Italian Christmas and New Year classic. Several years ago, I spent three months in Northern Italy on a working farm tour making pasta, harvesting olives, milking sheep for Pecorino cheese, and teaching cooking classes. One of my favorite host families was the dreamy Rampons. We spent an entire day making soup together, exactly as they makes for Christmas every year. I’ll never forget rolling out the dough on Clara Fantozzi’s grandmother’s 100-year-old rolling pin, and making these “belly button-like” pouches with the kids to envelope rich and meaty filling. Making this soup is an act of love. It tastes like a rich, savory, healing hug, and I could not get enough. It is possible to make the pasta and brodo (recipe here) a day or two ahead of time, or freeze in separate batches.
1 chicken breast
2 pork sausages, casing removed
1 beef tongue (substitute 5 ounces of beef if you prefer)
1 cup wine (Lambrusco is preferred)
5-8 whole cloves
1 dried bay leaf
Salt and peppercorns to season
1-2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (preferably aged at least 24 months)
Put all ingredients into a large stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 6-8 hours, adding water as necessary to keep meat submerged in liquid.
When ready to make cappelletti, strain the meat considerably, leaving behind a bit of the liquid in the meat. Remove the cloves and bay leaf.
Finely mince the meat by pulsing in a food processor. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano and knead until the mixture sticks together and is nearly smooth.
PASTA DOUGH & MAKING CAPPELLETTI
This recipe is enough pasta for one, multiply as needed.
100g (.8 cups) flour per person
1 egg per person
Salt and pepper
Measure your flour and place in a circle on a large smooth surface, preferably a countertop. Make a well in the middle to place your cracked eggs into. The rule of egg pasta is always one egg per person. Knead the flour and eggs together until the dough is elastic, smooth and hard enough (not too sticky). Add the flour gradually to get the consistency just right.
Roll the dough out until it’s very thin. You can use a pasta roller if you wish. Using a zigzag cutter or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into small squares, about 1 to 1½-inches on each side.
Place a little less than a teaspoon of the filling in a square. Fold the dough in half—corner to corner—and then twist the ends together, like with tortellini.
When ready to serve, place in boiling broth, or “brodo” in Italian (RECIPE HERE), for a few minutes until they float to the surface. Top each bowl with a generous amount of grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese.
Recipe Source: Clara Fantozzi – Carpi, Italy
Photo source: iPhoto
Carole Mac is an author, producer, and host of all things food and wine. Her bestselling children’s book The Gift of the Ladybug was inspired by her dearly departed son TJ and has raised over $25K for children with life-threatening illness; her food film Oh My Rødgrød! was selected to appear in the NYC, Chicago and Devour Food Film Festivals; she has regular columns in Lapalme and Retreat magazines; and her latest series Somm School Insider appears on Wine4Food.com, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, BINGE Networks, and ROKU. She has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, USA TODAY, GLAMOUR SA, and Thrive Global. When she isn’t eating, drinking, or filming, she enjoys being active in the outdoors, cycling, hanging with family and friends, and hunting down the best bites and sips in New York City. Follow her adventures at CaroleMac.com and @Carole.Mac.