For all the Pasta Lovers out there, today I’d like to introduce you to Cappellacci pasta.
Plural for cappellaccio [cap-pèl-lac-cho] – cappellacci are dumplings folded as to resemble to a sort of ugly hat, evocative of an old peasant’s straw hat, typical of Ferrara countryside, (in the Italian North-East Emilia-Romagna region).
Originally called “tortelli di zucca”, the first evidence of their making dates back to 1584, mentioned in the Giovan Battista Rossetti’s recipe book “Dello Scalco” – the man entrusted with organizing and supervising the grandiose banquet ritual for the Duke of Ferrara Alfonso II d’Este.
The basic ingredients are the same, as in the current recipe – flour, eggs and pumpkin – there may be some difference in the spices used during the Renaissance: some say was ginger, today is nutmeg.
Usually handmade, those delightful dumplings are filled with a wide range of ingredients, from meat to vegetables. Served in a buttery sauce, you can find them also with meat ragu or tomato sauce, it depends on the regional and family preferences.
About the name. You should know that Italian language is very rich with charming suffixes, and we love using -one, -ino, -accio (just to mention a few) to play around in describing someone or something as big, small, ugly or cute.
If you’re curious to trying out making the cappellacci, here’s a great recipe from our gourmet friend Sara Scutti.
Apparently large, an average serving is about 5 dumplings; not at home, where we go for 10 pieces per person, it depends on appetite 😉
Here’s Sara’s Pumpkin Cappellacci pasta recipe, with chopped pistachios… and Buon Appetibilis!