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The Hirshon Emilia-Romagna Meat-Stuffed Pasta in Capon Broth – Cappelletti in Brodo di Cappone


Units Scale
  • Pasta dough:
  • 4 eggs
  • 400g 00 flour
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • ***
  • Filling:
  • 1/4 pound lean pork
  • 1/4 pound lean veal
  • 1/2 cup diced Italian mortadella, best-quality
  • 1/2 cup diced cooked breast from Capon used to make stock – if unavailable, use breast of turkey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 3/4 cups freshly-grated parmigiano cheese
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste, be generous
  • a glug of brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind
  • ***
  • For the broth:
  • 1 piece of beef shin, bone-in
  • 1 5 pound Capon, cut into pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 stalks of celery with leaves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 yellow onions, cut in half and stuck with a clove in each 1/2 – skin left on
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • coarse salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 5.5 liters of water


  1. For the capon stock:
  2. Put all the ingredients in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring the ingredients to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 1 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. During the cooking, use a skimmer to skim off the foam that collects at the top and discard it.

With a slotted spoon, remove the capon pieces to a bowl.
  3. Pour the rest of the soup and ingredients into a cheesecloth-lined strainer over a large bowl. Press on all the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juices. Discard the solids.

Cover and refrigerate the broth overnight, then skim any fat off the top before reheating. The broth can also be frozen for several months.
  4. ***
  5. For the cappelletti:
  6. It is best to make the dough on a wooden surface, like a pasta board. Or you can make it in a mixer with a dough hook. The amount of flour depends on the humidity, so start with about 350g and add the 4 eggs. Put the flour on the board and make a well in the center.
  7. Crack the eggs in here and using your fingers or a fork, gently break the eggs and mix them, and pull the flour in a circular motion until well combined. Add more flour as required, and water if it gets too dry but with care you shouldn’t need to add water.
  8. Knead until the glutens are stretched and it feels more elastic (you can pull on the dough and it stretches). Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for half an hour.
  9. In the meantime, add the filling:
  10. To make the filling, grind together the pork, veal, mortadella, and Capon (or turkey). Melt the butter in a skillet and add the ground meat mixture. Cook, stirring until the meats lose their raw color. Add brandy, mix, and remove from heat.
  11. After cooling down, fold in ¾ cup of the parmesan, the egg yolks, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and grated lemon rind. Set aside.
  12. Roll on a wooden board with a rolling pin or use a pasta machine, until thin but still firm (about 6 on a pasta machine or the thickness of a normal coin).
  13. Here’s the technique for making the pasta:
  14. Cut dough into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter or floured paring knife. They don’t have to be perfect.
  15. Place ½ teaspoon of filling in the center.
  16. Fold the dough over the filling triangularly, corner to corner, and seal (you may need to wet a finger in water and run it along the bottom edge of the dough to get it to stick together).
  17. Then bring the two pointy corners on the folded side together, pressing one end on top of the other to seal. For tortellini, you wrap those two ends around a finger before sealing so it retains more of a ring shape (the remaining corner tends to flip up in the process). That’s it!
  18. Heat the broth and then add the cappelletti to it. When the cappelletti float, they are cooked.
  19. Serve immediately.