• Pumpkin cappellacci with bergamot (Food Safari Earth)Source: Food Safari Earth

Cappellacci means 'little hats' and rolling pasta to create these delicious little mouthfuls of flavour takes some practice but the results are magnificent. 






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (12 votes)

"Chef Alberto Fava grew up in Ferrara where cappellacci with a pumpkin stuffing have been the local specialty since the 15th century. Alberto likes to add the subtle flavour and aroma of a type of citrus called bergamot to the mix (think Earl Grey tea flavour). Lots of tips here - from an easy way to roast pumpkin to the silky pasta recipe." Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth


  • 250 g ’00’ flour
  • 250 g durum wheat semolina
  • 5 eggs (50-55 g each)
  • pinch of salt


  • 2 kg butternut pumpkin
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g golden French shallots, finely chopped
  • 300 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra to serve
  • freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
  • few drops of bergamot essential oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage

Brown butter

  • 2 bunches sage
  • 400 g unsalted butter

Cook's notes

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.


Standing time 30 mins

To make the filling, preheat the oven to 200°C. Halve the pumpkin lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the halves in half again lengthwise and then in half across. Score each piece deeply on the diagonal. Place in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the oil. Pour in 60 ml (¼ cup) water, the cover the dish loosely with foil and roast for 1 hour or until completely cooked. Scoop the cooked pumpkin flesh into a bowl and discard the skin.

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 10 minutes or until translucent. Add the pumpkin, stir to combine well, then mash until smooth. Stir in the parmesan, season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and add few drops of bergamot oil being careful not to overpower the mix with the oil. Spread the mixture over a tray and stand until completely cool.

Meanwhile, to make the pasta dough, tip the flours onto a work surface and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well. Using your fingers in a circular motion, gradually incorporate the flour to form a dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can make the pasta in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Makes 500 g

To make the brown butter, rinse the bunches of sage in cold water to make sure all the dirt is gone, then pat dry on paper towel. Place the butter and sage (the leaves and the stems) in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until the temperature reaches 150°C or the butter is brown but not too burnt. Strain the butter through a fine sieve and set aside, discard the sage. This can be made the day before and refrigerated.

To make the cappellacci, cut the pasta in half and keep one portion covered while you work with the other. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm-thick. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting. Feed the dough through several times, folding in thirds after each roll and dusting with flour if necessary. Continue feeding the dough through and narrowing the settings one notch at a time until you reach the thinnest setting.

Lay the pasta sheet on a lightly floured bench and cut into 5 cm squares. Spoon or pipe a large teaspoon of filling in the centre of each square and brush the edges with a little water or spray lightly using a spray bottle. Fold one side over to the other to make a triangle and press around the edges to seal the cappellacci, taking care not to trap any air inside. Take the two corners, twist to meet together and pinch firmly. Lay on a semolina-dusted tray and repeat with the remaining pasta and filling.

To serve, cook the cappellacci in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until they float to the surface.

While the cappellacci are cooking, melt the brown butter (if made in advance) in a large frying pan. Add the sage and salt and cook until fragrant. Add the drained cappellacci and toss to coat well. Add a little pasta cooking water and grated parmesan and toss to coat well. Serve immediately. 


Brand-new series Food Safari Earth airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS then on SBS On Demand. For recipes and more visit the program site right here.