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French Onion Cappelletti in Brodo

French Onion Cappelletti in Brodo

French onion soup meets cappelletti in brodo in this half-French, half-Italian dish.


I’ve always adored my mother’s French onion soup recipe. As a child, I remember her agonizing over getting it just right She never budged when it came to the ingredients, always going out of her way to get the gruyere (which was not so easy to find in the early 2000s!), the Maderia wine, and a good loaf of sourdough bread.

Her attention to detail reminds me in many ways of the perfectionism of Italian cooks when making tortellini or cappelletti in brodo. They spend hours shaping and filling the pasta, preparing the broth until it is just so, all in pursuit of good taste and comfort.

And so here, I am paying homage to both. The broth is my mom’s recipe–a mixture of beef and chicken broth, Madiera wine, and balsamic vinegar. The cappelletti are then filled with all the other good stuff: a blend of caramelized onions, sourdough bread, and lots of gruyere cheese.

French Onion Cappelletti in Brodo

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the broth:
2 large sweet yellow onions, sliced thin
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup Madeira wine
4 cups beef broth (32 ounces)
4 cups chicken broth (32 ounces)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Black pepper to taste

For the filling:
caramelized onions, removed from the broth with a slotted spoon and strained
½ cup sourdough bread, stale and torn into cubes (about 1 slice)
1 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated, plus extra for serving
¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
1 teaspoon black pepper,

For the pasta:
360 grams 00 flour (2 ¾ cup, plus a little extra)
4 whole eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil

Method

To prepare the broth:
Caramelize the onions. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 30 minutes, until caramelized. Stir every 3-5 minutes, to prevent the onions from burning.

Deglaze the pan by pouring in the Madeira wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the wine has evaporated. Add broths and black pepper and simmer on low heat, for about an hour. Add balsamic vinegar and simmer for another minute.

Remove the onions with a slotted spoon, reserving all of the broth in the pot. Strain in a colander and let cool for 15 minutes, allowing the moisture to evaporate.

To prepare the filling:
Add the strained and caramelized onions, sourdough bread, gruyere, parmesan, and black pepper to a food processor and blend together, until there are no longer any large pieces of onion or bread. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and spoon the filling into a piping bag or sealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cappelletti in a hand

To prepare the pasta:
Make a batch of fresh egg pasta dough. Using a hand-cranked pasta machine, roll out the dough into thin sheets. Cut into 2” circles or squares. Fill each circle or square with a teaspoon of filling. Fold into cappelletti (see video below). Set aside on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a clean tea towel.

To serve:
When ready to serve, place the broth on medium heat, until simmering. Add the cappelletti directly to the broth and cook, until al dente, about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with shaved gruyere.

French Onion Cappelletti

Prep Time: 60 Minutes
Cooking Time: 100 Minutes
Total time: 2 Hour 40 Minutes
Servings: 4
Cappelletti in Brodo

Ingredients

For the broth:
  • 2 large sweet yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup Madeira wine
  • 4 cups beef broth (32 ounces)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (32 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper to taste
For the filling:
  • Onions, removed from the broth with a slotted spoon and drained well
  • ½ cup sourdough bread, stale and torn into cubes (about 1 slice)
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated, plus extra for serving
  • ¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
For the pasta:
  • 360 grams 00 flour (~2 ¾ cup, plus a little extra)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Instructions

1. Caramelize the onions. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 30 minutes, until caramelized. Stir every 3-5 minutes, to prevent the onions from burning.
2. Deglaze the pan by pouring in the Madeira wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the wine has evaporated. Add broths and black pepper and simmer on low heat, for about an hour. Add balsamic vinegar and simmer for another minute.
3. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon, reserving all of the broth in the pot. Strain in a colander and let cool for 15 minutes, allowing the moisture to evaporate.
4. Add the strained and caramelized onions, sourdough bread, gruyere, parmesan, and black pepper to a food processor and blend together, until there are no longer any large pieces of onion or bread. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and spoon the filling into a piping bag or sealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5. Make a batch of fresh egg pasta dough. Using a hand-cranked pasta machine, roll out the dough into thin sheets. Cut into 2” circles or squares. Fill each circle or square with a teaspoon of filling. Fold into cappelletti (see video below). Set aside on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a clean tea towel.
6. When ready to serve, place the broth on medium heat, until simmering. Add the cappelletti directly to the broth and cook, until al dente, about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with shaved gruyere.
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