Cappelletti pasta

cappelletti, winter delight of every Umbrian home

I have been keeping this post for one of those rare days when I have enough time in my hands. I wanted quiet and concentration to explain in sufficient detail what might be one of the best pasta recipes in the world. To tell you that cappelletti, the Umbrian diminuitive version of tortellini, is pasta Nirvana.
Well. We are snowed in. We have no car because it has seriously broken down just before the storm. Most of Italy is under the snow so the replacement parts will not be arriving for a while. The rare phone call is of friends wanting to know if we are all right. The next shop is 8 km downhill on a windy road presently covered by ice and almost a foot of snow. We are not going anywhere.
The term cappelletti, means little hats. In Umbria they are generally made for Christmas. I know families who make a few thousands of them and keep them in the freezer to enjoy during the winter months. They are better served in a chicken or capon stock. However, I am not opposed to a dressing of truffle shavings in olive oil or a good porcini sauce.
I have made these cappelletti  with organic kamut flour also named khorasan which is an ancient wheat, rustic and delicious. The recipe works as well, if not a little easier, with the usual 00 flour. To choose the right type of flour, please make sure to read my flour tips here.
To freeze, place them individually on floured plastic trays until hard, then transfer into sealed bags or tupperwares so you can scoop as many as you need. Boil in plenty stock or salted water for 3 min. slightly less if fresh.
For the filling

  • 120 gr / 4 oz. each of ground turkey breast, lean beef and pork
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 60 gr / 2 oz. each charcuterie boiled ham, mortadella, grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • a pinch nutmeg, salt, black pepper

Heat a shallow heavy-bottomed pan, add  two tablespoon olive oil and saute the ground meats on medium-high heat until just starting to brown. If you cook the meat too slowly it will release liquid, loose flavor and feel like sawdust.
Increase heat to maximum, deglaze with white wine, season with salt, nutmeg, a pinch of black pepper and set aside to cool.
In a food processor, pulse the cooked meat, ham, mortadella and grated Parmesan until finely ground.
For the pasta dough:

  • 3 eggs
  • 300 gr kamut flour (khorasan) or 00 flour
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil

Using the ingredients above, make my food processor pasta dough and roll it into thin sheets using a pasta machine. Cover the sheets with a cotton tea towel. Kamut pasta sheets dry quickly and tend to break, so you need to work faster than when using regular flour.
Now follow the instructions in the photo captions below. Click on one of the picture to start the slideshow.

This recipe makes 350 cappelletti. You will need about 25 per person, so you either have a feast or freeze 3 heavenly family dinners for 4 and 1 tete a tete.

kamut cappelletti on the left, wheat cappelletti on the right


  1. I will be in Bagni di Lucca soon. That is if I can get there, it is covered with snow as well. Making cappelletti sounds like a great thing to do on a snowy day and it looks delicious.

  2. The cappalletti look delicious! In Italy, where would one go to find specialty flours such as kamut, quinoa, sweet rice, etc.?

  3. These really look lovely. I made tortellini for Christmas, served in broth, and they were a big hit! Definitely a dish to make when you have time on your hands, but well worth it.

  4. Kamut is like spelt – it’s actually still wheat, just a heritage variety a little different from modern wheat. Don’t feed it to anyone with gluten issues!
    That said, I’m interested in how you shape your pasta… I will have to try it out next time. It never occurred to me to shape it that way after using the cutter.

    • Hi Alex, I am well aware of gluten vs no gluten issues but lots of people including myself have a wheat intolerance without being celiac. Based on the tests I have made I can eat almost any grain except wheat, that’s why I mention in the post that I am on a quest of what free alternatives. Thanks for visiting!

      • Hello Letizia,
        My wife Maria and I (New Mexico) were fortunate to attend your class and stay at the B&B last year. The pasta we made was fantastic and we never tire of recounting the stories of our stay there. At the time we spoke briefly of wheat-free and gluten-free alternatives to pasta. The last recipe I tried was at the following It worked well, but the flavor was quite lacking. It used garbanzo-fava and millet flour. Gluten-free is key for us. Have you discovered any good recipes?
        Give Google a “skritch” from us. 🙂

        • Hi Jim and Maria! Lovely to hear from you! Gluten free girl Shauna is one of my heroes but I must admit that I found the addition of nutmeg to the pasta dough a bit odd. I have made many experiments to develop a credible gluten free pasta dough. I have been successful with a commercial flour mix containing rice flour and potato starch, the taste was just right even though the texture was a hint softer than the gluten ones
          I am still working on a self made mixture, none of my experiments have been good enough to be published, please stay tuned though, hopefully I will come up woth something!
          Meanwhile please note that my bext post is going to be a gluten free breakfast cake. I am quite proud of that as also non-gluten free peple like it!

  5. Gorgeous! A beautiful recipe and wonderful photos to show the way, thank you so much am going to give them a go for sure now I know what to do!

  6. Nicely written and beautifully photographed. Never thought of using Kamut flour. Thanks for the tip. For those who tolerate gluten, another good choice is white whole wheat flour. I like your approach and recipe, but what I really like is the graceful way you have incorporated metric measure with common measures.

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