Cappelletti in brodo

Stuffed pasta with a soothing, delicately flavoured broth. This is an ideal dish if you’re feeling under the weather or need a pick-me-up to ease the winter blues. The broth can be made in batches and frozen for up to 3 months; feel free to vary the vegetables or meat you are using. The cappelletti is fun to make, but you could buy a good ready-made version as an alternative.

Adapted from The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan.
  • Prep time:
    25 minutes
  • Cooking time:
    5 minutes for pasta, 3 hours for broth
  • Serves:


Make 2 x fresh pasta dough. Wrap tightly in cling film and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

For the vegetarian ricotta and herb filling

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

  1. Combine the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well with a fork. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  2. Roll out fresh pasta dough to 1mm thickness. Cut the dough into 4cm-wide strips. Keep all additional sheets of pasta covered with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
  3. Cut 4cm squares from the strips of pasta. Add ¼ teaspoon of filling to the centre of each square.
  4. Brush the edges of the pasta squares with water and fold the squares diagonally in half, forming a triangle. Press the edges firmly together with your fingers to ensure they are airtight.
  5. Bring the 2 corners of the parcel together and press to seal, forming a ring.
  6. Place the cappelletti on a lightly floured tray and make sure they don’t touch. They can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for several hours

For the pork filling

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

  1. Place the pork mince in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Add the butter to a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the pork mince to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, breaking up the mince with a spoon and turning frequently to brown the meat on both sides. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Use a sharp knife to chop through the filling. Place in a bowl and add the ricotta, Parmesan, nutmeg and chopped thyme, and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Follow instructions from the vegetarian ricotta and herb filling recipe to assemble the cappelletti.
  5. Any leftover filling can be frozen or used to make meatballs in another meal.

For the brodo

Makes approximately 2 litres of broth

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours

  1. Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and add enough water to cover by 3 inches.
  2. Place over a medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat until it is gently simmering. Remove any froth that accumulates on the top.
  3. Continue to simmer gently for 3 hours, then remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ingredients in the strainer.
  4. Return the brodo to the pan place over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the cappelletti and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Add the kale and carrots and remove from the heat. Season to taste.
  6. Serve immediately topped with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.


Vegetarian ricotta and herb filling

  • 150g ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese
  • ½ garlic clove, finely grated or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • grating of fresh nutmeg

Pork filling

  • 100g free-range minced pork
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 50g ricotta
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • grating of fresh nutmeg
  • handful of thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped


  • 1 peeled carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, cored and with seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe fresh tomato or tinned plum tomato, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • handful of parsley stems
  • 2kg assorted chicken or beef, approximately half of which should be bones

To serve

  • 200g cappelletti
  • a handful of kale, torn into small pieces
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • drizzle good quality virgin olive oil

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