How to make Cappelletti

Once you have practiced a couple of times on making the phillo dough you can really begin to have fun. OHMYGOD this is so lame. Anyway, the first type of pasta shape I want to talk about is “cappelletti”, literally small hats, a type of stuffed pasta dumplings usually served in chicken broth during winter and a MUST of the Christmas meal. This type of pasta is a central Italian speciality , mainly from Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche, and it predates the most widely famously shaped tortellini. Grandma cooked it last sunday for the first time as, winter has arrived in Italy so we all needed a warm and cosy main course.Image

Let’s go back to the pasta dough sitting cling-filmed in a bowl. As we all know the pasta has to rest for at least an hour in the fridge, so what to do in the meanwhile? Have a bath? Have a chat with an old friend? Have a wank? Well if you want to make cappelletti just wait in the kitchen and prepare the filling for the cappelletti.                                                           Filling for 6 servings in a bowl mix:

  •  250gr beef mince                      100gr butter                         salt and pepper
  • 250gr pork mince                       100gr Parmesan                  1/2 spoon of cinnamon
  • 1 egg yolk                                  1/2 spoon of nutmeg            lemon peel

The filling is READY. Swear on your genitalia you won’t cook it separately from the pasta sheets as I have realised my people do. Brilliant, now let’s go back to the pasta. Divide the dough into pieces and start flattening one by one either using the rolling pin or the pasta machine, which should be set at the widest setting then feed the pasta through the rollers 3 or 4 times folding and turning the dough decreasing the setting one notch at the time. Now cut the sheets into 2 inch square and place a finger of the filling right into its centre as the images below show.

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Now fold the dough over the filling triangularly corner to corner, and seal (you may need to wet a finger in water and run it along the bottom edge of the dough to get it to stick together). Keeping the roounded edge facing down, take the two pointy corners, stretch them around the back until they meet and seal them one on the top of each other as shown below. Image

It is an almost mechanical movement which can’t be forgotten, therapeutically mindless and a very good way to spend a rainy afternoon. When last week I made cappelletti with my grandmother she assummed I could not remember how to make them, ohh how silly of you nonna, how have you even thought such a thing: all those sunday mornings of my young age spent over the pasta board practicing that simple movement and eating uncooked cappelletti. Opps I did it again! Sorry another romantic rant about my lost childhood. Now, if you like eating uncooked cappelletti like I do please carry on, I only want to warn you that raw meat can give stimulate the growth of tapeworm, like my grandmother used to tell me. Otherwise, if you feel more civilized bring the broth that you prepared beforehand, either made with chicken or vegetable as you prefer, to a low boil, avoid a rolling boil as this may cause the pasta to open up. It won’t take more than 4 minutes if the cappelletti are fresh, while a bit longer if they are frozen. Serve with a splash of lemon or topped with parmesan and your perfect winter main course is ready.

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MamAxhaustion

As much as mamas can look different they will always have an element in common: a glimpse of blessed exhaustion in their eyes, typical to whom thinks that their hard work has never been and will never be appreciated enough. To disclose this physical and emotional distress mamas often embrace a FrazzledDomesticLook, which can be easily replicated. Let’s see how analysing three examples of MAMA-OUTFITS, well at least two as I am still a mama in progress.

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(I apologise for the low quality of the picture but aside from my selfi the other two pictures were taken in secret; if they know I uploaded such pictures they will disown me)

 Me and my mother show off a very sporty I-DONT-GIVE-A-SHIT-ABOUT-HOW-I-LOOK-LIKE outfit: leggings and  hoodie for myself and a baggy sweatshirt for my  mother, who in this picture looks pretty banging compared to when she wears her wintery ridicolous stripy dungarees. On the contrary my grandmother chose a less random outfit. Since I have got memory I remember her wearing these church-length camel or black skirts and animal print jerseys; however to protect her expensive wardrobe from the pasta sauce splashes she always wears aprons,whose colours change according to the time of the year. Even though they show very different styles of mamaness the element that indicates that they are well beyond the point of caring about their appearence is the lack of any breast support resulting in saggy boobs hanging around the house all day long.  If you scroll your eyes down to the bottom of the pictures, you can appreciate my favourite piece of mama garment: shoes. Somewhere between running around toddlers and getting tired of hearing husbands complain that “your feet probably hurt because you are wearing ridicolous shoes to go food shooping” most mamas decide to buy a super comfortable pair of shoes to be worn with everything; what this really means is that at some point most of their life mamas decide to sacrifice their  attractiveness for comfort.

Moving on, hairstyle and make up are two words that have been erased from mamas’ dictionaries the day they got pregnant. Hairstyle-wise mamas often choose a “let’s see what happens if I tide up my hair with this string I found in the kitchen”; however, again, they are not interested in what they look like but in not to wear loose hair that mamas would have to justify if they end up in someone’s plate. Regarding that expensive make up women used to own to attract the usual saturday night scumbag this hasn’t gone missing; in fact it can still be found in most houses seemingly to serve only as a distraction for kids. And last but not least, something I don’t feel like showing you: a MAMA NIGHTDRES. Forget the sex appeal when a mama lays in bed she only wants to get the most out of those hours rather than being a sexy beast; trust me I have seen many mama’s pijamas and I am fullly sympathetic with marriage crisis, man’s cheating over their wives or men starting using strong marijuana at the age of 40. Mamas I am not encouraging you to embrace one of those embarrassing teenager look, I also totally understand you are tired and your husbands should love you for what you are and not the way you look, but for fuck’s sake do please think about the Darwinian “survival of the fittest” theory when you look at yourself in the mirror sometimes.