Pasta con Capone e Porcini - Versione Due

(Pasta with Capon & Porcini Mushrooms - Version Two)

This dish, along with a cold capon salad, was served at our 2004 Thanksgiving  dinner rather than the traditional turkey.  It is good any time you can find a capon.


1 Lb. Capon legs and thighs - previously cooked (boiled)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Cups Capon stock
2 Oz. Porcini mushrooms - soaked for 60 minutes
1 Med. Carrot - diced
3 Cloves Garlic - diced
1 Lg. Shallot - sliced very thinly
1 Tbl. Flour - unbleached all purpose
Q.B. To Taste  Salt and Pepper
1/2 Lb. Rigatoni pasta or other short pasta
1 Cup Parmesan cheese - freshly grated

Preparing The Capon

The capon can be prepared as much as 2-3 days in advance. (If a capon is not available turkey legs and thighs will do, but they will not be as subtle in taste and texture as capon.) You can boil a whole capon, saving the breasts for a marinated cold capon, sultana, walnut and pine nut salad.

Rinse the capon (or turkey/chicken) under warm running water. Remove as much fat as you can while rinsing. The fat can either be saved for rendering or discarded. Tie the capon legs together with string, and tie the bird once around the middle and once around the breast to keep the wings in place. The tying makes the bird easier to handle later.  If using legs and thighs of turkey, tying is not necessary.

Boil the whole Capon in water to which a carrot, a celery stalk an onion and salt and pepper have been added. Boil gently for 2 hours.  Add 4-6 fresh sage leaves to the water. Strain and save the stock. What is not used in this dish can be used in any dish calling for chicken stock. Remove the capon from the pot and let cool completely.

Once cool, separate the breasts from the capon legs and thighs. Set the breasts aside for another use. One great use is marinated capon breast as stated above or for Risotto con Capone e Piselli .

Preparing the Pasta Sauce

Prior to preparing the sauce, fill a pasta pot with water and begin to heat the pasta water over medium heat.  Place the dishes from which you are going to serve the pasta into a 225 degree oven to warm.

Cut the  capon meat, legs and thighs into small pieces. Place them in a sauté pan large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Add the olive oil, the chopped carrots and the garlic.   Cook for 2-3 minutes over moderate heat. The garlic should be translucent but not brown. Add the chopped shallot. Drain and squeeze the porcini dry, then chop them coarsely. Add them  to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Add 3 cups capon stock and mix well. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir.  The sauce should thicken a bit.  Allow this sauce to simmer for 15-30 minutes.

In the meantime put up a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water, and add the pasta. When the pasta is  al dente, drain the noodles, and add them to the capon based sauce. Gently toss to coat all of the noodles. Cook over high heat for one minutes stirring constantly. Serve in the pre-warmed dishes. Add grated parmesan cheese to each plate as it is served.

This dish is a bit complicated to make, but well worth the effort.  Once made with capon, try it with chicken, turkey, rabbit, or Rock Cornish game hens.  As stated above, these dishes will be different than that made with capon, but they will all be tasty.

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Last updated on: 11/25/04 07:24:57 PM