Ecco Le Marche

If you ask any Marchigians what they are having as primo (first course) on Christmas day, the answer can only be the one and only CAPPELLETTI. I think we must have signed a secret pact at birth, saying that there will be no Christmas holidays with at least one meal consisting of cappelletti. Indeed, you can have them on more than one occasion. And, if you are really a traditions lover, you should also prepare them in advance with your nanny and mum.

That’s exactly what we used to do in my family! And before the restrictions due to COVID-19, the amount of cappelletti was…way too much for normal people to eat.

This year it was only Mamma Graziella and I to prepare the cappelletti, but since we are sharing the recipe with you, it feels at least we are surrounded by lots of people! Too bad you were not there helping us with the folding.

As in every recipe in Le Marche, the quantities are nothing but precise. I am not even sure how many cappelletti would come out with these ingredients, but I would guess about 1 kilo and a half (more or less!!!). Sorry, it’s not really my fault, but nobody used to write down the quantities in the old times, and this recipe comes directly from the (unclear) recipe book of my grandma.

Are you wondering where the name comes from? It comes from cappello (hat), because the shape is exactly..a hat!


  • 4 eggs
  • 400 gr flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 kg of mixed minced meat (can be pork, chicken, beef)
  • nutmeg
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • lemon zest

We start off with a fountain made of flour and we add the eggs at the centre of it. We mix it with a fork and add a pinch of salt. Knead the dough until it becomes soft, make a ball and keep it cover to prevent it from drying.

In the meantime let the meat cook, you can add the parmesan cheese, the lemon zest and the nutmeg as much as you like. Mamma Graziella has even added mortadella to it!

Stretch out the pasta (you can use the pasta machine, of course) to make it more or less 2/3 mm thick. Use the right tool to make circles…

..and put a small amount of meat. Now it’s time to fold it! Watch the video carefully to learn the technique:

You can have the cappelletti in brodo (with chicken broth) or with panna (cream). Enjoy!


Liz · 1 March 2021 at 04:22

I’m so happy to see this! My nonni was from
Fano, in Marche, and we have continued to pass the recipe on for years. Every year around thanksgiving and Christmas we enjoy the delicious capeletti. The lemon, it truly makes the recipe compared to other regions. Thanks for posting!

    Laura · 3 March 2021 at 19:09

    Dear Liz,
    It’s so nice to read this beautiful story. Our past and traditions are something so valuable worth to pass on to the next generations! I am really happy (and it made me also a bit emotional) to know that through our post you could relive a bit of our region!
    And cappelletti at Thanksgiving’s lunch? It must be a success!! 😍
    Thank you for your comment!
    Laura, Isabelle and Elke

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