Cappelletti in Brodo

Cappelletti in Brodo (Pasta ‘Little Hats’ in Broth)

There is a special magic that comes with the holiday season in Italy. The air is filled with the sweet aroma of baked goods, cities and towns are beautifully adorned with festive lights, and there is a tangible feeling of joy and anticipation everywhere you go. And nowhere is this festive spirit more evident than in the Italian Christmas dinner, a veritable feast that brings together family and friends over a spread of traditional delicacies.

Today, I would like to take you on a festive journey to the region of Emilia-Romagna, where Christmas dinner is not complete without the traditional “Cappelletti in Brodo,” or “little hats” in broth. This beloved dish, filled pasta served in a rich, flavorful broth, is a quintessential part of the Christmas meal and is awaited with much anticipation throughout the year.

I recall one Christmas, during a trip to the city of Bologna, when I had the privilege of being part of a local family’s Christmas celebrations. The house was decked out in beautiful Christmas decorations, and the kitchen was a hive of activity, with everyone from nonna to the smallest children lending a hand. But the star of the day was, without a doubt, the Cappelletti in Brodo.

Hours of love and effort went into making the dish, with the family sharing stories and laughter as they prepared the pasta and filling, and patiently simmered the broth. When finally, the Cappelletti in Brodo was served, it was a moment of pure joy. The rich, savory broth, the tender, meat-filled pasta – it was a dish that truly celebrated the spirit of Christmas.

Now, let me share this heartwarming Christmas recipe with you. Gather your family, put on your favorite holiday music, and let’s start cooking!

Cappelletti in Brodo

Cappelletti in Brodo (Pasta ‘Little Hats’ in Broth)

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 600 kcal


For the broth

  • 1 kg mixed meat, such as beef, chicken, and pork
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • salt to taste

For the Cappelletti

  • 400 g flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g ground beef
  • 200 g ground pork
  • 100 g mortadella finely chopped
  • 100 g Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • nutmeg to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Begin by making the broth. In a large pot, add the meat, vegetables, and salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 3 hours. Once done, strain the broth and keep it warm.
  • While the broth is simmering, start making the cappelletti. In a large bowl, mix the flour and eggs to make the pasta dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, then cover and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  • For the filling, mix the ground pork, ground beef, Mortadella, Parmigiano Reggiano, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Roll out the pasta dough thinly, then cut out small circles. Place a bit of the filling in the center of each circle, then fold the dough over the filling and seal the edges. Finally, fold the semi-circle around your finger and join the two corners together to create a 'little hat' shape.
  • Bring the broth back to a boil, then add the cappelletti and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they rise to the surface.
Keyword meat, pasta, warm

Serve the Cappelletti in Brodo hot, ensuring each person gets a generous serving of both broth and cappelletti. This comforting, flavorful dish is sure to bring the warmth of an Italian Christmas to your holiday table. Buon Natale and Buon Appetito!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating