The cappelletti are a typical dish of Emilia Romagna, although today are known throughout the national territory. It is a fresh stuffed pasta, made from a square folded on itself, recalling the shape of a little hat (“cappello” in Italian). Cappelletti soup is cooked with a chicken broth and they are the traditional dish for Christmas. The typical filling can be prepared in two versions: chicken, pork and ricotta cheese, or just ricotta and other kind of cheese.
Cappelletti are also prepared in the Marche, where they use a filling with a mix of veal, pork, turkey and cheeses. More recently, the cappelletti are prepared with a meat ragù, as they are cooked in the rest of Italy.
The piadina romagnola is a thin puff pastry made with wheat flour. Years ago it was commont to eat piadina in the place of bread, especially in the poorest families. The preparation of the pastry needs the use of flour, water and lard, today it is also prepared with olive oil to replace pork fat. Used everywhere in the region, in Rimini they make it thinner and heat it in the “testo”, a special cast iron plate. In Emilia Romagna the piadina can be eaten in many stalls and bakeries, stuffed with salami, cheeses and vegetables, is a simple and versatile dish that fits in many variations and meets the tastes of adults and children.
The gnocco fritto, also known as pinzino or crescentina, is a simple recipe, arrived in Emilia Romagna probably along with the Longobards. After making the dough for bread, they cut in slices and fries in abundant lard. The gnocco fritto has the shape of a rhombus, after cooking you can eat simple or open and stuffed in a thousand ways, with cheese, ham or vegetables. It is commonly prepared as an appetizer, although recently it can be filled with chocolate, cream or jam for a sweet snack.