The broth is special; it is made using a whole organic chicken, chopped into pieces and cooked for at least 3 hours. The broth is pale golden and sumptuous in its own way,
- superfine semolina (semola rimacinata), for dusting
- 1 1.2–1.4 kg (2 lb 10 oz–3 lb 2 oz) organic chicken
- ½ carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- ½ brown onion, peeled
- 200 g (7 oz) 00 flour or plain (all-purpose) flou
- 2 eggs
- 240 g (8½ oz) parmesan, grated
- 120 g (4 oz) fresh ricotta, drained
- good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 small egg, lightly beaten
- freshly ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need to begin this recipe one day in advance. The total cooking time will depend on whether you use a pressure cooker.
Resting time: 30 minutes
- To make the broth, chop the chicken into 8–10 pieces and remove as much of the skin as you can (this might be a bit difficult around the wings so it’s fine to leave some). Wash the chicken and place in a pressure cooker, then add the vegetables and cover with water. I fill my pressure cooker to the 4-litre (140 fl oz) line, which is its maximum capacity. Cook the chicken on high for 1 hour, then set it to slow pressure release – it will take another 45–60 minutes to release its pressure.
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker, place the chicken and vegetables in a large saucepan or stockpot and add 2.5–3 litres (87–105 fl oz) of water. Bring to the boil, then skim off any impurities that come to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 3 hours.
- Remove the chicken and vegetables from the stock and allow it to cool to room temperature. Strain through some muslin or a fine sieve into a large bowl, then cover and place in the fridge overnight. The next day, you will see that a layer of fat has formed on top of the broth. Carefully scoop this out and discard. The broth is now ready to use or freeze for another day.
- To make the pasta, place a mound of flour on your work surface and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and start whisking the eggs gently with the tines of a fork, incorporating a bit of flour at the same time. Keep whisking with the fork, making an ever-widening circle as you incorporate more flour. The mixture will eventually become too thick for you to use the fork, so start using your fingertips, working the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have used up most of the dry ingredients and a ball of dough forms. You may need to add a bit of water or flour to get the right consistency. Kneed for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with an upturned bowl and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the filling, place the cheeses and nutmeg in a bowl and mash them together with a fork. Add as much egg as you need to make a thick paste (discard any remaining egg or keep and use it for something else). Season with pepper (no need for salt) and set aside.
- Dust your work surface with superfine semolina. Cut the pasta dough in half and wrap one half in plastic film while you roll out the other portion. Using a pasta machine, roll out half the dough until it is quite thin (I took mine to the second last setting of my machine).
- Using a 6 cm (2½ in) or 7 cm (2¾ in) ravioli cutter, cut out circles of pasta. Place about ½ teaspoon of filling in the centre of each circle. Dip your finger in water and dampen the edge of the dough, then fold it over into a semi-circle, pressing down carefully so as to not incorporate any air. Next, fold the two corners of the semicircle onto each other, pressing to seal, then fold down the rounded part of the semicircle to make the hat-like brim of the cappelletto. Cover the finished cappelletti with a clean tea towel and repeat with the remaining dough and filling. You should have about 60 cappelletti at the end. At this point, you can freeze the cappelletti in freezer bags if you like.
- To serve, bring as much broth as you need to the boil and drop in the cappelletti. Once the broth returns to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the cappelletti are cooked through (the cooking time will depend on the size, but start checking at about 4 minutes). Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00