Pumpkin Cappellacci of Ferrara
Ferrara cousine has a great tradition and a great deal of pasta dishes, very well known for being tasteful and for the ingredients used for their processing. Pumpkin cappellacci are the symbol of this tradition, as far as the main courses, worthy of joining the inner circle of the typical products of Ferrara, called "the 17 Pearls of Ferrara."
In our shop Ferrara Store we offer a wide selection of products from Ferrara, among which you will find of course the pumpkin cappellacci, carefully chosen for the quality of ingredients, for their delicate taste and for the unrivaled price.
The pumpkin cappellacci of Ferrara are of ancient origins, obviously dating after 1492, when America was discovered and pumpkin, the main ingredient of the filling of cappellacci, was imported to Europe. The first evidence of pumpkin cappellacci Ferrara dates back to 1584, when Giovan Battista Rossetti, carver at the Estense court of Duke Alfonso II d'Este, tells us about a dish called pumpkin ravioli with butter; the recipe for pumpkin ravioli with butter, unlike the modern one, also lists among the ingredients pepper and ginger, commonly used spices at the time.
During the nineteenth century this type of ravioli took the name of pumpkin cappellacci, according to some because of their shape, reminiscent of rough straw hats of peasants, called “càplaz” in the dialect of Ferrara, according to others to differentiate the pumpkin cappellacci of Ferrara from the cappelletti, differing in size and filling, while, according to others, to differentiate the pumpkin cappellacci of Ferrara from the pumpkin tortelli, with a different filling.
Traditionally, pumpkin cappellacci were consumed from September 29, St. Michael's day, in which the pumpkins, that are the main ingredient of the filling, were ripe and ready to be picked.
The recipe for the pumpkin cappellacci of Ferrara sees the preparation divided into two phases: the first is the preparation of the pasta, an element almost always present in the first courses of Ferrara, and that must be done in a workmanlike manner; the second is the filling, which will give the cappellacci that typical sweet and salty taste.
You will need only two ingredients to make the pasta: flour and eggs. Once you’ve blended the ingredients and made a smooth dough, roll the dough with a rolling pin to make it thin, though obviously not too thin, because it must be suitable both to accommodate the pumpkin filling, and not to break during the characteristic twist that leads them to have the known ring shape.
The filling of the pumpkin cappellacci Ferrara is made from pumpkin, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and, in some cases, bread crumbs.
The most commonly used types of pumpkins for the filling are the violina pumpkin, with its characteristic tapered shape, and the marina pumpkin.
Once cut into pieces, the pumpkin is put in the oven to cook; then the pulp is removed, cleaned from the seeds, and blended with salt, nutmeg and grated Parmesan cheese.
Some recipes of pumpkin cappellacci of Ferrara involve the use of breadcrumbs, that, if the filling is too soft, are necessary to give the filling the desired consistency.
Once the pasta and the filling are ready, we can proceed to give shape to the pumpkin cappellacci of Ferrara.
Take the rolled pasta and cut it into squares, between five and seven centimeters wide. At the center of the square of pasta, put a spoonful of the pumpkin filling, then move one corner of the square of pasta on top of the opposite corner, as to get a triangle, taking care to seal the dough, to prevent leakage of filling during cooking. At this point we proceed to the last operation, that is, to give the ring shape to the cappellacci: take the triangle in your hand, pull the tip up and join the two ends of the "base". The pumpkin cappellacci of Ferrara appear at this point similar in shape to the tortellini , but much larger.
Once finished, cook the cappellacci in salted water and, when drained, serve them with the traditional melted butter and sage, although in some variants they are also served with meat sauce.
We invite you to visit us in Ferrara Store: you will find a welcoming environment in which you can choose with care between the various typical foods of Ferrara and where you can find the salama da sugo, the pumpkin cappellacci, the garlic of Voghiera, the pampapato, the wine of the Eliceo forest, the coppia ferrarese and the pumpkin flatbread. If you could not come and visit us in person, you can buy our products in our online shop by clicking here.