Today’s post is all about tradition. I often say that talking about Italian cuisine is not very accurate… every region (and sometimes even city!) has its own cuisine, so it would be more correct to say Italian cuisines. Every area of Italy has its own traditional stuffed pasta which can differ in shape, size and/or filling. Tortellini for example, are the traditional stuffed pasta from Bologna, Tortelli are found in Mantova etc. Today I will take you to the beautiful city of Bergamo, in Lombardy, just 30 minutes from Milan where I was born. Bergamo is a very ancient city as it dates back to the Celtic times and is divided between the modern area (Citta’ Bassa) and the historic area (Citta’ Alta). The latter area is full of beautiful monuments. Today’s recipe is a typical dish from Bergamo: Casoncelli (or casonsèi as they are called in the local dialect). I have already shared a recipe for Cabbage, Speck and Scamorza Casoncelli in my ebook, which you can find here: Manu’s Christmas Menus. It is a kind of stuffed pasta with a very particular shape, filled with local/poor ingredients such as sausage, breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs and garlic. In modern times, cheese and a few other more “noble” ingredients were added too, and the dish that I will share with you today is simply to die for. Casoncelli alla Bergamasca (aka Bergamo style) are served with a butter and sage sauce and sautéed Italian Speck (or Pancetta). Enjoy and don’t forget to check out my other Regional Italian recipes!
Casoncelli alla Bergamasca
How to make Casoncelli alla Bergamasca, traditional stuffed pasta from the Northern Italian town of Bergamo!
- 2 eggs
- 200 gms – 7 oz. all purpose flour
- 200 gms – 7 oz. Italian sausage
- 100 gms – 3.5 oz. mortadella
- 80 gms – ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 20 gms – 3 ½ tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- Salt to taste
- 80 gms – 5 ½ tbsp butter
- 6 sage leaves
- 4 x 1 cm – ½ inch thick slices of Italian Speck or Pancetta cubed
- Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated, to serve
Put the sausage, mortadella, garlic, egg and parsley in a mixer and blend. Add the breadcrumbs and blend some more.
Season with salt to taste and keep the filling aside.
Make the Casoncelli following my tutorial on How to make Casoncelli.
Cook the Casoncelli following the steps on “How to cook pasta al dente”. Only in this case you will not have a pre set cooking time. The exact cooking time will vary on the thickness of your casoncelli (it should take approximately a couple of minutes to cook if you have just made the pasta. If a number of hours have passed since you made the pasta then it would be slightly dry and could take between 8 to 10 minutes to cook). So, the best solution is to taste it! Remember, to check the sides, where your pasta is thicker. It does have to remain firm to be al dente.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it using a colander.
Put the casoncelli on the serving plate, drizzle the warm butter ans Speck sauce on them and serve them immediately with some finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the top.
If some pasta sheets remain, wrap them individually in cling wrap, then place them in a ziploc bag and freeze them for later use.