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.
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