Casoncelli alla Bergamasca

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Casoncelli alla Bergamasca

What is casoncelli?

Among the many stuffed types of pasta that populate the regions throughout Italy, there is one, namely casoncelli, that seems to have come long before tortellini, and agnolotti. Although casoncelli is common in many parts of Lombardy, such as Brescia, Bergamo and Val Camonica, the original recipe comes from Bergamo. 

The etymology of the name, which, according to some historians, derives from “caseus”, or cheese, refers to the ingredient used for the filling. Others derive the name from “calzoncino”, alluding to the shape of the casoncello described in some recipes that called for the dough to be folded from a horseshoe-shaped square.

Casoncelli pasta recipe

Different Variations

There are many variations of this traditional pasta dish. Both the precise recipe for the dough and the filling may vary. Typically, the filling consists of a mixture of meat, vegetables, breadcrumbs, and Italian cheese, while the dough is made from flour, water, and salt. However, certain local recipes also add eggs. 

Even the shape of the pasta may vary. Some form the rolled out, thin dough into shapes of a half-moon, handkerchief, and a candy shape. A traditional sauce consisting of melted butter, bacon, and sage is the most common sauce served with casoncelli, however, this too may vary from the area of the region. 

Where does Casoncelli come from?

Casoncelli has an ancient history dating back to 1366 where it is first mentioned in manuscripts from the city of Bergamo. In fact, Bergamo is considered the birthplace of this stuffed pasta from where it spread to different towns and regions during the Middle Ages acquiring new names and recipes. 

As is often the case with the origins of a particular dish, casoncelli was created out of the need not to waste any leftovers. The dish was perfected over time until it became the dish of honor and distinction at festivals, such as the one held in Pievedizio every September where one can taste a variety of fillings for casoncelli. 

casoncelli pasta recipe

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Casoncelli alla Bergamasca

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A traditional stuffed pasta from the beautiful city of Bergamo in the Lombardia region of Italy. This casoncelli pasta recipe is the authentic version with pancetta and sage butter sauce.
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Bergamo, fresh pasta, Lombardy
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 1057kcal
Author Nonna Box

Ingredients

Dough

  • 400 grams flour all purpose
  • 100 gr durum wheat semolina
  • 2 eggs

Filling

  • 125 g bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 70 g grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 250 g minced beef
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 100 g diced pancetta
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 sage leaves

Instructions

For the pasta dough

  • Arrange the flour on a pastry board, form a well in the center, add the eggs, a pinch of salt and a little water to mix the dough. Knead and mix thoroughly for at least 10 minutes.
  • When the dough is compact and smooth, wrap the ball of pasta dough in plastic wrap and let rest for half an hour.

For the filling

  • Peel and mince the garlic. In a pan, brown the garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil and add the minced meat at low heat.
  • When cooked, transfer everything to a bowl and add the breadcrumbs, eggs, grated cheese, then season with salt and pepper.

Making casoncelli

  • Roll out the pasta dough into a thin sheet with a pasta machine, starting from the widest setting and roll until the dough is a thin layer. With a pastry bowl cut into discs of about 7 cm (3 in aprox).
  • In the center of each of them, place a scoop of filling and close them carefully from the edges by pinching them between your fingers.

Cooking

  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot, then add salt.
  • In a medium saucepan melt the butter, sage and diced pancetta and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes.
  • Cook the casoncelli in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. When they start to float in the boiling water, that means they are ready.
  • Carefully drain the stuffed pasta with a colander or remove them from the water with a small strainer.
  • Toss the casoncelli in a big serving bowl, pour in the melted butter flavored with sage leaves and diced bacon and mix carefully.
  • Serve hot garnished with a sprinkling of grated Grana Padano cheese.

Notes

Some recipes include ingredients that are part of the culinary tradition of Lombardy like raisins, amaretto biscuits and nutmeg in the filling. The raisins are minced and the cookies are crumbled before mixing them in the mixture.

Nutrition

Serving: 150g | Calories: 1057kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 224mg | Sodium: 886mg | Potassium: 504mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 677IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 349mg | Iron: 9mg

Source: Casoncelli alla Bergamasca