When box pasta dreams, it dreams that it is homemade fresh pasta.
When Cappalletti dream, they dream that they were made at I Passatelli 1962: L’Osteria del Mariani located at Via Ponte Marino 19, Ravenna, Emiglia Romagna, Italy.
Cappalletti are regional pasta stuffed with local cheese and herbs. The word cappalletto means ‘little hat,’ and yes, that is what these tasty little guys resemble. Recently we were in Ravena on a rainy Friday night. The sky seemed to clear for a bit so we tossed on our hikers and headed out for a walk. No sooner did we walk by I Passatelli did the sky open up, and we took that as a sign that this was the place to eat, and to forget about how stylish we looked in our hikers!
The staff was incredibly friendly and when the host began speaking in Italian I responded in Italian; then he inquisitively looked us up and down (nothing screams not Italian like a pair of hikers plus Daryl’s red hair is usually a giveaway) and asked rather unsure holding up menus “Italian?” to which I replied “Certamente!” A fluster of rapid Italian apology ensued which included mention of so many tourists he is never quite sure! I acknowledged that he was correct, we were tourists, but that we were studying Italian and preferred the Italian menu.
The proprietor of the guest house we were staying in, Casa Masoli, had shown us online a few local food specialties to try. Of course the first thing we tend to ask a local when we arrive anywhere new is what do you eat. He showed us a picture of cappalletti, and although they look similar to tortellini, we were told they are not the same, they are specific to the region and contain regional cheese and herbs. We ordered a plate in a meat ragu at I Passatelli and had them split it for us. Quite delicious!
I ordered pollo cacciatore (hunter’s chicken). I make an outstanding one myself so am reluctant to order it when we go out but it sounded so fantastic in the Italian description that I could not resist. I was not disappointed! It came out with a sprig of rosemary and some roasted potatoes.
Daryl went for the roasted rabbit. His was just as fantastic. We also added a side of sauteed spinach and both had a glass of local red wine. We left it up to the sommelier as they had multiple local red wines by the glass.
We finished off with a hazelnut semifreddo. The meal was so good we went back the next night and planned on just a few drinks and a crudo platter and ended up eating again!