Little Caps

by wjw on May 3, 2009

Because I was in the mood to do something tasty and elaborate, last night I cooked a meal for our friends, Peggy and Kevin.

For primi I made capelletti, “little caps,” in this case pasta stuffed with chicken, parmesan, parsley, a little nutmeg, and some cream to hold it together.

You start with a 2×2-inch square of pasta— all of which I made myself, the first use of the pasta machine I’ve got in two years or so— and then you put a dab of filling in the middle. Then you fold one corner over to make a triangle and press down on the sides to seal. After this, you bring the two corners of the triangle together and seal them, which allows the capelletto to stand on its own, with the last corner of the triangle drooping down like a little cap, hence the name.

(Whose cap are we imitating, exactly? The Pope’s? A Turkish Janissary in full dress? I’m not sure.)

Making the pasta took hours. And hours. By the end of the task I had cramps and a backache.

The capelletti were served with an asparagus and cream sauce. They were worth the effort, though maybe next time I’ll take it easy on myself and make tortellini, which are a little less time-consuming. Besides, they’re supposed to look like Aphrodite’s navel, which should be a good thing.

Secondo was tossed salad and leg of lamb roasted in a mustard sauce. It was one of the tenderest lambs I’ve had the privilege of devouring, though I have to admit that I wasn’t responsible for the tenderness one way or another.

Dolce was strawberry shortcake, because I was running out of time and imagination.

The meal was served on the Noritake china I inherited when my mom passed away last year.

I don’t ever actually remember eating off this china when I was at home. Apparently I wasn’t good enough for the good china. I wonder if anyone ate off it, ever.

Since I don’t have kids, or anyone to preserve the stuff for, I’ll eat off the good plates whenever I want.

Especially if I make a meal as good as this one.

melinda Snodgrass May 4, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Wow! That sounds wonderful. You’re putting me to shame. Between recovering from this cold, and crap breaking around the house I’ve had no energy for cooking. One night I had a soft boiled egg. Another night I had cereal.

I need to invite people over so I’ll be forced to use the kitchen and be creative.

Ralf the Dog May 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

I was not quite as sophisticated in my culinary art this weekend as you were. I started off not knowing what I was going to do so I followed rule 1:

When in doubt fire up the grill with hickory.

Next I took about a pound of ground bison chuck (0rganic) and cut/formed it into strips. After looking in my cabinets I found several cans of dark red kidney beans and some tomato sauce.

After tossing this into the crock pot I started thinking chilly so I added some cayenne, and chipotie pepper with some sage, cilantro and just a bit of oregano.

I did not have green onions so I tossed in a bit more diced garlic (fresh)than I normally would and used some garlic powder. Next I mixed in a bottle of Gunness extra stout.

Near the end I tossed in a bunch of cherry tomatoes and let it sit most of the day.

It was good the first day, better the second. I must say that I set the spice to kill VS stun, but I was cooking for myself so no ambulances were needed.

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