Citizens, there is not a scintilla of doubt that your stalwart guardian of culinary tradition – the unmatched TFD! – is a resolute champion of antiquarian recipes. This delicious outlier of Lombardian cuisine deserves an immediate and zealous paean to its splendorous tastes and history!
Casoncelli are a kind of stuffed pasta, typical of the culinary tradition of Lombardy, located in the north-central part of Italy.
The shell typically consists of two sheets of pasta, about 4 cm long, pressed together at the edges, like that of ravioli. Alternatively it is a disk folded in two and shaped like a sweet wrapper. Casoncelli in the style alla bergamasca are typically stuffed with a mixture of bread crumbs, egg, parmesan, ground beef, salami or sausage.
Variants of filling include spinach, raisins, amaretto biscuits, pear, and garlic; while the casoncelli alla bresciana are stuffed with a mixture of bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic, parsley, nutmeg and broth. They are typically served with burro e salvia: melted butter flavored with sage leaves.
As also noted on tortelliniandco.com:
Casoncelli: how to make a fabulous Italian filled pasta recipe
I asked my mom to send me one of her recipes. She sent me the best recipe ever: Bergamo’s (my hometown) signature dish, Casoncelli. A recipe that calls for home, family, flour and love.
Casoncelli are a Northern-Italy typical pasta fresca. Made with a meat filling and their typical mezzaluna shape. This pasta dish and polenta are the most famous and cooked Bergamo’s recipes.
The origin of this recipe comes from the old name ‘casonsei’ that recalls a very little Italian calzone shape.
This recipe belongs to the cucina povera (peasant food) tradition of Italian cooking, which is based on simple, hardy ingredients that were cheap, widely available and easy to prepare. Casoncelli were made from the cow and pig leftovers. Easy to make, today is a fine pasta dish, made with high-quality meats.
Serve with melted butter, sage leaves, bacon cubes and fresh grated parmigiano.
Casoncelli works well with red wine.
This further elucidation of Lombard cuisine was described on made-in-Italy.com:
Lombardia cuisine has roots in many different cultures, resulting in extravagant dishes. Lombardia cooking traditionally uses generous amounts of butter, cream and lard, but recently has been converting recipes to olive oil. The first food to come to mind for most people is the decadent risotto alla Milanese. The classic golden tint is provided by saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. This creamy rice dish is heavily enriched with plenty of dairy butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Despite not being a staple food, some unique forms of pasta are found in Lombardia cooking. Tortelli de zucca is a pocket filled with winter squash, grated cheese, finely crushed almond paste cookies and sometimes mostardo, a mustard flavored candied fruit preserve, served in a bath of melted butter with fried sage leaves. Agnolini, a filled pasta similar to tortillini, are filled with a mixture of beef and pork.
Other famous ravioli include casônsei, filled with cheese, sausage and bread. These pockets are always served with butter and grated Grano Padano. The most well known pasta are marubini, a cheese and meat dumpling served in broth.
It is from the famed tortelli de Zucca recipe that I have adopted my favorite tweak to the classic recipe for casoncelli – the use of mustard fruit (specifically, pear) to replace the standard pear in the recipe. The zing it adds is simply superb! The remainder of my recipe is, however, supremely traditional. 🙂 You can buy excellent-quality diced pancetta here, amaretti cookies here, pear mostardo here and Italian 00 flour here.
Battle on – the GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Italian Lombardy Ravioli – Casoncelli Alla Bergamasca
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 350 g Italian “00” flour
- 150 g semolina
- 2 eggs
- water to taste
- 90 g bread crumbs
- 10 g crumbled amaretti biscuits
- 1 egg
- 70 g grated grana pardo (preferred) or Parmigiano
- 100 g sweet Italian sausage, out of casing
- 200 g cooked roast beef
- 10 g golden raisins, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- 1/2 medium pear – peeled and cored for the traditional version or use 2 tbsp. chopped Pear Mostarda fruit in syrup (TFD’s heretical change)
- Zest of 1/2 unwaxed Meyer lemon
- salt and pepper
- 80g unsalted butter
- 80g pancetta, cut into small cubes – if unavailable used slab bacon
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 80g grana pardo (preferred) or Parmigiano, grated
- In a large bowl mix flour, semolina, eggs, a pinch of salt then add enough water to make a smooth dough, then leave to rest for at least an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
- Brown the sausage meat with a bit of butter, then add the roast beef, garlic, parsley and stir for a few minutes.
- Pour everything into a bowl, add parmigiano, bread crumbs, lemon zest, pear or pear mostarda, amaretti, egg, chopped raisins, some pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix together. If it seems too dry, add a drop of water.
- Cut the sheet of pasta in half lengthways.
- Place a teaspoon of the filling at regular interval at regular intervals along the strip of pasta.
- Fold over the pasta and press down to seal. Try to exclude as much air as possible to avoid them bursting when cooked.
- Separate the pasta using a round pastry cutter. You should have a half moon shape.
- Turn the half moon on its side and flatten it a little with your thumb.
- Cook casoncelli in plenty of salted water. After draining, pour over the melted butter flavored with sage leaves, bacon cubes and fresh-grated cheese.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 1149.97 kcal
- Sugar: 6.28 g
- Sodium: 1038.53 mg
- Fat: 48.33 g
- Saturated Fat: 23.94 g
- Trans Fat: 0.69 g
- Carbohydrates: 121.42 g
- Fiber: 6.61 g
- Protein: 54.71 g
- Cholesterol: 252.25 mg
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