Italian Cappelletti, Tortellini, Agnolini and others

Italian Cappelletti shape resembles a small hat

51110“Cappelletto” means in italian “small hat”. Indeed, the Cappelletto shape resembles a medieval hat.

Home of the Cappelletti seems to be the Romagna, which is at East of Emilia-Romagna region but cappelletti are also consumed in the Marche region.

Italian Cappelletti are not to be confused with Tortellini since they differ in many ways

Italian Cappelletti are similar to italian “Tortellini”, their cousins of Emilia.  But Cappelletti and Tortellini are not to be confused. First of all Cappelletti and Tortellini differ in the way of “closing them”, Cappelletti are closed without twisting the edge of the pasta, they are closed simply by approaching the edges of the triangle obtained by bending the squares of dough on which rests the filling.Tortellini (1)

Then the filling of cappelletti strongly differs from the filling of tortellini. Pellegrino Artusi, –  considered one of the founding fathers of the Romagna Cappelletti – in his old and famous recipes book “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well”, describes the particular filling recipe of “Cappelletti use of Romagna” (recipe n. 7 ), with a base of ricotta (or cottage cheese and raviggiolo), capon breast or pork loin, and prescribes Cappelletti to be cooked in capon broth.

The cappelletti filling in the local idiom of Romagna is called “e’ pin d’é caplèt ” The cappelletti filling is indeed different depending on the area.. They may have also filling of ricotta and Parmesan or of raviggiolo alone, according to local  tradition.come-preparare-i-cappelletti-romagnoli_75175bcfdee8506d32cbebe38a783422

Unlike the Romagna, where the filling is packed with cheese and capon breast, the Marche recipe calls for cheese and meat stewed inclusive of those flavors “smells” such as celery, carrot and a little onion, passed through the mincer, to which are added raw eggs grated hard cheese, nutmeg and grated lemon rind. Both in Romagna and in the Marche in the filling is usually grated lemon.

Not only in Romagna but also in all the Marche, from north to south, the cappelletti are considered typical and have been appreciated as a traditional pasta.

Italian Cappelletti: a must have at Christmas lunches in Romagna e Marche

While their cousins, the Tortellini, in some areas of the Marche arrived only after the war, the Cappelletti are always prepared in the house throughout Marche. In the Marche region cappelletti presence marks annual events, such as large Christmas lunches. The cappelletti are also called “caplet” and constitute a compulsory Christmas dish in the whole region of Romagna and Marche.


The cappelletti from Romagna are always tasted in broth: they must be boiled in a great broth. Unlike tortellini, which should not soak too long in their broth, with regard to Cappelletti it is good practice not pick them up immediately from the pan but leave them to soak for a few minutes to absorb the broth well

We also remember the Agnolini, typical production of Mantua. Their shape is similar to that of Cappelletto though the tip is more rounded. They do not have caps like tortellini and their filling is made from a beef stew with white wine, pork sausage, bacon, eggs and nutmeg.

They are cooked in meat stock and traditionally in the Mantuan countryside typical dish is called “sorbir of agnoli” representing an overture to dinner to which is added the red wine, generally Lambrusco.

LXK8L2CR1804-kNhE-U10202120778675s9H-426x240@LaStampa.itThe Anolini are traditional of Parma and Piacenza. They are characterized by their crescent shape. The filling is made of braised beef, bacon, red wine, cheese and eggs. Anolini in Piacenza are smaller and without bacon than in Parma. Cooking should always take place in the beef stock or capon.

Typical of Piemonte are Agnolotti which have generally square shape. The original recipe comes as filling them with a variety of mixed meats (braised or roasted) and mixed with vegetables like chard and spinach. Necessarily they must be cooked in meat broth.

Finally, typical of Cremona the Marubini may have different forms even though they should be round with a jagged edge . Today one can find different types : rolled triangular , square or half-moon . There are two variants for the filling: braised beef , veal and roast pork , boiled brains , eggs and cheese . Breadcrumbs , beef marrow , cheese, eggs and spices


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