Cappelletti con Cervo

(Venison filled Cappelletti)

Note: This recipe seems overly long, and it is a lot of work.  However, all of the parts do not have to be made in one day.  The stuffing can be made in one day, the cappelletti. another, and   the sauce on another.  If a weekend dinner is planned, start this dish on Wednesday.


1.5 Lbs. Venison Rump Roast - see below
1/4 Lb. Prosciutto - sliced
1 Sm. Onion - white and diced fine
1/2 Cup Olive oil - extra virgin
1 Lb. Ricotta cheese - part skim
2 Whole Eggs
1/4 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese - grated
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Parsley - fresh flat leaf Italian

Preparation of the Stuffing

The venison may be either uncooked or previously roasted. when The Artisan first made this recipe it was to find a good use of a rather large venison rump roast once the original roasted dinner had been eaten.   this stuffing is what we decided to do with the left over 11/2 pounds of the roast.   should you have a small roast, or decide not to pre-roast the venison, simply use it uncooked. The only thing missing will be the carmalization from the high temperature part of the roasting process.  The flavor obtained form the garlic pieces inserted into the meat prior to roasting can be partially obtained from adding a small bulb of roasted garlic to the mixture.

Either way, here is the methodology.

Chop the venison into very small pieces.   do not use a food processor or you will get  a mush!  Chop the prosciutto into pieces of about the same size.  Put the venison, the prosciutto and the onion into a sauté pan with 3-4 Tbl. of  cup of olive oil, and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes.  Remove from the heat and put into a mixing bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes. 

Add the ricotta, the Parmesan,  the parsley and the milk.  Mix gently but thoroughly.   Add salt and pepper to taste at this point.  Once the flavors are adjusted, add the eggs to the mixture.   Mix to incorporate the eggs. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator while making the dough for the cappelletti.

Preparation of the Cappelletti

The dough for the pasta can be found on this site.  Click on pasta dough for the recipe for the dough.

Once made,  roll the dough into a thin sheet (between 1/16 and 1/8 inch).  Cut the dough in to 3 inch circles.  We use a short glass.  In spite of all of the fancy new things on the market, a glass cuts the dough easily and consistently.  Simply, place the glass where you want a circle, rotate it while pressing down and a perfect circle of dough is obtained.  The recipe will make far more dough than needed for a serving for 4 people.  However, given the amount of time and dedication needed to make good home-made pasta, it is not a bad idea to make more past than needed and freeze them for future use.

Once cut, place about a half teaspoon of the stuffing mixture  a bit off center on the circle.  Fold the circle over   to make a half moon.  Pinch the edges together, then lay the crescent across your index finger.  the finger needs to be facing palm side up.  Wrap the half moon around your finger until the ends meet.  Pinch the ends together and then slide the Cappelletti off the finger onto a tray lined with parchment paper.  Continue until you have as many cappelletti. as you want.  If you have left over dough, roll it our, and slice it into thin pasta for another use.

Put the cappelletti. into the freezer until ready to use.  If not using today, bag in plastic and seal. these will keep for a month or so with our loosing flavor or consisentcy.

Preparation of a tomato sauce

Sauté 3-4  cloves of garlic (chopped fine) in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Open a 28 Oz. can of Italian plum tomatoes, and add it to the same pan.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  At the end of this time, remove from the heat and let cool.  Pass the tomato mixture through a food mill to remove the seeds and the tomato skins.   After this step, return the now silky tomato mix  to the pan and keep warm.

Cooking and Serving the Cappelletti

Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil. add the cappelletti. to the pot and cook until they rise to the top.  This happens very quickly.  Once this happens, cook another minute.  Remove the cappelletti. from the water with a slotted spoon.  Let drain for a minute.

Place a ladle of the tomato sauce on a heated plate, then place 4-6 cappelletti. in the center.   Just prior to serving sprinkle a handful of shaved Parmesan onto each plate. 

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Last updated on:06/03/99 12:51:38 AM