I first learned how to make these in a pasta making class when I was 19 years old. 21 years later, this is still my all-time favorite pasta recipe. I hope it becomes one of yours. Cappellitti means little hats, and these hats are filled with a simple ricotta mixture and covered in a divine tomato cream sauce.
These are a bit time consuming, but the results are well worth the work. The only special equipment you will need is a basic manual pasta maker. They are fairly inexpensive and they last forever. I have had mine for over 20 years and it is still going strong. There is a link at the side of my site where you can purchase one if you don't already own one.
At the bottom of this post are step by step pictures on making the pasta as well as the basic pasta recipe.
Cappellitti with Tomato Cream Sauce:
1 recipe pasta
1 cup ricotta
1 teaspoon grated onion
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks or 1 whole egg
*Combine all ingredients, mix well
Tomato cream sauce:
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small rib celery, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 can whole tomatoes (1 lb)
1 teaspoon basil
¼ to 1/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
To make sauce:
*Melt butter in a wide frying pan over medium heat.
*Add onion, celery and carrot, cook until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
*Stir in tomatoes and the liquid, (crush tomatoes with spoon first)
*Add basil, salt and pepper.
*Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
*Stir in enough cream until the sauce has the consistency of gravy.
**If made ahead, cool and refrigerate. When needed, reheat over a low heat, stirring frequently.
*Roll out pasta dough thin
*Cut with a round cookie cutter, about 1 ½ inches in diameter
*Place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle
*Fold over making a half circle; bring the ends of the semi-circle together forming a hat shape
*Seal edges with water.
Drop Cappelletti into boiling, salted water. Cook gently, stirring occasionally until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, place pasta in a wide shallow serving dish, pour sauce over and sprinkle with parmesan.
Basic All Purpose Pasta:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
3-6 tablespoons water
*Mound flour on a work surface or in a large bowl, make a deep well in the center
*Break eggs in the well
*With a fork, beat eggs lightly and stir in 2 tablespoons of the water
*Using a cirular motion, begin to draw flour from the sides of the well.
*Add 1 more tablespoon water and continue mixing until the flour is moistened. If necessary, add more water, a tablespoon at a time
*When the dough becomes stiff, use your hands to finish mixing.
*Knead the dough until the dough is no longer sticky, about 10 minutes
*Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a bowl, and allow the dough to stand and rest 20 minutes.
*Roll out and cut into desired shapes
**Roll small pieces at a time starting with the highest setting.(Mine is a 7) Roll out, fold. Change the setting to 6, then roll out again and fold once. Lower the setting again, and repeat process until you have the dough rolled out to a 3 for Cappelliti.