Put spring on your table with cappelletti (stuffed hat-shaped pasta) and asparagus. Saffron in the dough adds colour and fragrance. In a pinch, use wonton wrappers instead of the homemade dough.
- Portion size 4 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Special Issue: Pasta by the Season 2004
Saffron Pasta: In small bowl, crush saffron with back of spoon; mix in 1 tbsp (15 mL) hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
On flat surface or in bowl, mound flour. Using fingers, make well in centre; add saffron mixture, eggs and salt. Using fork, beat egg mixture, gradually incorporating flour around edge, until soft dough forms. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap; let rest for 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before continuing.)
Filling: In bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, egg yolk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Cut yellow part of rind from lemon; cut into fine strips. Squeeze 1 tbsp (15 mL) juice from lemon. Set aside.
Snap off ends of asparagus. With vegetable peeler, peel bottom half of each spear. In saucepan, bring 4 cups (1 L) salted water to boil; cook asparagus until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooking liquid. Chill under cold water; drain. Cut off top halves and reserve. In food processor or blender, purée bottom halves with reserved cooking liquid; strain through sieve, reserving liquid.
Divide dough into quarters; cover. Working with 1 quarter at a time, press into disc; dust with flour. Using pasta machine or rolling pin, roll out to second thinnest setting into 35- x 6-inch (89 x 15 cm) strip. Repeat with remaining quarters. Let rest on lightly floured surface to dry slightly for 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Cut each strip into 3-inch (8 cm) squares.
Wet edges of squares with water; place rounded 1 tsp (5 mL) filling on centres. Fold 2 opposite points over filling to make triangle without aligning points; pinch edges to seal. Cross remaining 2 points, one over the other; pinch to seal. Place on floured tray. Repeat with remaining squares.
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook cappelletti until tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook lemon rind until translucent, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove rind and set aside. Add shallots to pan; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add reserved asparagus liquid, cream, salt and pepper; cook until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Add reserved asparagus tips; heat through. Stir in reserved lemon juice. Serve with cappelletti; garnish with lemon rind.
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Sodium 1,369 mg
- Protein 22 g
- Calories 524.0
- Total fat 23 g
- Cholesterol 274 mg
- Saturated fat 13 g
- Total carbohydrate 56 g
- Iron 31.0
- Folate 96.0
- Calcium 24.0
- Vitamin A 31.0
- Vitamin C 22.0