January 22, 2019

Chicken Cappelletti

Recipe: Chicken Cappelletti with Chicken Bolognesa sauce

Serves 4 | Prep Time 1 hour | Resting Time: 1/2 hour up to a day | Cooking Time 4 to 6 minutes

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1 can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp oregano (optional)
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

For the filling

  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 0.5 cup ricotta home made or store bought
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
  • salt

For the pasta (for 4 people):

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Instructions



Filling

  1. Dice the onion and sweat in a saucepan at low heat with a little bit of oil and a pinch of salt. The purpose of this technique is to evaporate the water inside the vegetables concentrating their flavor, and at the same time breaking the cellulose walls, making them softer.
  2. Add the ground chicken and cook thoroughly. Later on, when boiling the cappelletti, the filling will not have a chance to cook as the pasta cooks so quickly, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add 1 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and salt.
  4. Mix with the ricotta and allow the whole mixture to cool down thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Sauce

  1. Blend the San Marzano tomatoes so that there are no pieces of tomato left but rather a thick liquid.
  2. Dice the onions and the red bell pepper, then sweat in a pot at low heat, salting lightly to allow water to be released from deep within the vegetable. The purpose of sweating is to evaporate water, concentrating flavor and to break down the cellulose walls within the vegetables to make them softer.
  3. Remove the vegetables into a bowl and reserve. In the same bowl brown 1/2 pound of chicken at high heat, creating some browned bits that will stick to the bottom of the sauce pan brown. This is an important step as browning creates complex taste.
  4. Push all the chicken to the sides, add a little bit of olive oil in the center of the pot and cook your garlic for 30 seconds.
  5. Reduce the heat to low. Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon allowing those brown bits to incorporate into the liquid.
  6. Return the reserved cooked vegetables to the pot.
  7. Add the chicken stock and the San Marzano tomatoes.
  8. Add the herbs and salt lightly
  9. Simmer at medium low heat for at least an hour, allowing liquids to reduce and the different flavors to blend. It is pretty magical how ingredients will be absorbing flavor from one another, with the effect of exponentially improve the overall result.



Stuffing the pasta

Depending on your application the pasta gets stuffed in different ways.

For ravioli:

  1. Lay a pasta sheet on a floured board.
  2. Make several compact balls of your filling about 1/2 inch in diameter (about one teaspoon of filling.)
  3. Place these on top of the pasta sheet on the edge of the pasta facing you in a horizontal row . Make sure to leave a space of about an inch or so in between and about a 1/2 inch from the bottom.
  4. Spray the pasta with a very light mist of water.
  5. Grab the edge of the pasta facing you and roll over the filling.
  6. Press with the side of your hands on the sides of the ravioli first, and then at the top edge making sure to remove all possible air.
  7. Cut each ravioli using a ravioli cutter.

For cappelletti

  1. Cut the pasta with a pastry circle of the desired size and place the stuffing in the middle.
  2. Hold on the extended fingers of one hand and moisten the side facing away from you very lightly.
  3. Using your thumb and forefinger of both hands stretch lightly from under the filling ball and close the top, then all the sides making sure to remove as much air as possible.
  4. Once closed return your fingers to the top of the cappelletti and move them towards the ends, making sure to retain the ball shape of the filling. You will do this stretching the dough ever so lightly.
  5. Place on of the ends on top of the other and press firmly between your fingers making sure the edges seal tightly.

For both:

Place on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and lightly floured (to prevent sticking). If you are planning to serve right away proceed to the cooking instructions. If not make sure to freeze right away spread out on a tray. Once frozen you can place them in a ziploc bag, to save space.

Cooking

  1. Fill a really large pot with water and bring to a roiling boil. A large amount of water will retain the heat when dropping the pasta in, particularly if you are cooking straight from the freezer.
  2. Heat up the sauce in a large sauce pan.
  3. Place a large amount of salt in the water (it should taste like the ocean). The salt will season your pasta as it cooks.
  4. Place the pasta and boil briefly until the pasta floats to the surface. Allow to cook for about a minute or two longer.
  5. Remove with a spider carefully to avoid breaking the pasta, which is quite delicate at this point, and toss directly into the sauce. Cook together for about a minute or so, using some pasta water, if needed, to loosen the sauce.
  6. Serve right away, and offer your guests some freshly grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle to their taste.

Notes

Making stuffed pasta with your own hands is very fulfilling. Once you learn how to do it you can play around with the filling and your sauces. At first it takes quite a bit of time but as you get used to the process you should be able to make it very quickly and enjoy a delicious meal from ingredients that are usually in your pantry and your refrigerator.

Play around with the stuffing ingredients and create your own version. Take this recipe only as a guide towards your own creative ways to make this dish.


Learn to make this and much more during our cooking class:

Fresh Stuffed Pasta Class

Chicken Cappelletti
Fresh Pasta
Insalata Bianca
Crostata di Mandorla
The Foodery
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