Monday, March 8


I decided to tackle my grandmother's cappelletti recipe over the weekend. Actually, it's my great-grandmother's recipe, but while I was growing up, my grandmother was always the one to make it over the holidays, so I think of it as her recipe.

First up was the chicken stock:
4.5 pounds of chicken backs
3 stalks of celery
4 carrots
2 medium onions
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons salt

Giant Eagle was out of chicken backs, so I opted for chicken thighs instead. I put everything in an 8 quart stock pot and topped it off to within an inch of the top with water; simmered for 4 hours and then put into the fridge until ready to use.

While that was cooking, I baked 1 pork chop and 1 chicken breast in the oven. After cooking and cooling, I cut the meat into chunks and put it into the food processor along with these ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

I made a pate with the ingredients and then put it into the refrigerator until ready to use.

When it was almost time to make the cappelletti, I mixed the pasta dough ingredients in my mixer:
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons salt

I had to add a little more water than specified. After mixing everything up, I oiled the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Next it was time to roll out the dough. I used my trusty pasta machine. If I had to do this by hand, I would never attempt it.

The recipe was supposed to make 150 cappelletti. I think I got slightly less than that. I started off making them pretty small, but as time wore on, they kept getting bigger and bigger. Either way, it made just enough for the amount of stock I had.

Brian was supposed to help me with the process, but got stuck on some other things. Luckily for me, he did arrive home at the tail end and helped me knock out the rest of the cappelletti.

I was pleased with how they turned out--I thought they tasted just like Grandma's. Jake really liked them and Brian said it was the best soup he ever had. Given the amount of work involved, the recipe is probably better suited for the holidays, rather than some random Saturday in March, but now that I have my practice session in, I wouldn't have a problem making this for the holidays.

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