Smoked salmon capelletti with a lemon cream sauce, capers and dill

Homemade pasta can be quite an undertaking if it is not something you are used to doing but I highly encourage you to give this dish a go. I often make the pasta the day before, so I am not a hot flustered mess when people come to dinner! I definitely recommend making ahead if you are a beginner pasta maker as they cook beautifully from frozen and I have included instructions for this. It is a gorgeous dish with the rich salmon and cream sauce balanced out with lots of fresh lemon, capers and herbs. You will really impress your guests with this one and what is better than sharing a meal and some wine with friends.

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 2 hours

COOKING TIME: 15 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE PASTA

  • 350 ‘00’ flour
  • 50g semola flour (use 400g ‘00’ if you wish)
  • 228g eggs – note: I weigh my eggs in my pasta dough, it ensures the perfect ratio of liquid to flour. I have a bowl sitting on my scales and crack eggs in until I get 228g, you might need to crack the last one into a cup, mix with a fork then drip in to get to 228g.
  • FOR THE FILLING

  • 200g smoked salmon (you’ll need 400g of smoked salmon all up)
  • 200g ricotta
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • FOR THE SAUCE

  • 250ml cream
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan (this is finely grated with a microplane)
  • 200g smoked salmon, broken apart into bite size pieces
  • Juice of half a lemon and lemon zest to finish /li>
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of capers /li>
  • Fresh dill /li>

    METHOD

    Mix the flours together in a bowl then tip it out onto your bench. I use the bottom of a bowl to create a nice well in the middle to tip the eggs into. Tip eggs in and start to whisk the eggs with a fork, breaking up the yolks and gradually incorporating the flour from around the sides into the middle. Keep doing this until the mixture in the middle is thick enough that it won’t escape or run out, a scrambled egg consistency. Go in with your hands (or a bench scraper) and bring it together into a shaggy dough then form into a ball to start to knead. Knead the mixture for 3 – 4 minutes until it comes together into a workable ball. If it feels sticky resist the urge to add flour, if it feels dry wet your hands and continue kneading. Wrap in cling film and rest for 10 minutes.

    After 10 minutes knead for a further 4 - 5 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and rest at room temperature for at least 30 mins but preferably an hour or up to three.

    Make the filling:

    Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, adding as much lemon juice and salt and pepper to your liking. Put into the fridge until ready to use.

    When the dough has rested cut it into four pieces and work with a quarter at a time. Dust with flour and roll through the widest setting of your machine then through the next setting. Fold in half, dust with flour then roll back through the widest and the next, repeating this process twice more before taking the sheets through all the settings twice stopping at the second to last (that is setting 7 on my kitchen aid roller).

    Using an 8cm circular cookie cutter (or a knife around a glass) cut out circles and place a teaspoon of filling into the middle. Fold the circle in half pressing all the air out and firmly sealing the edges. Place it upright like in the picture and press down on the filling with your finger then bring the edges around and squeeze together. Put the finished cappelletti on a tray lined with baking paper and loosely covered with clingfilm. If you aren’t cooking them straight away, they can be frozen open on a tray until frozen (30ish minutes) then transferred to a snaplock bag or container to be cooked from frozen.

    Put a pot of heavily salted water on to boil and cook the cappelletti for 3 minutes. At the same time gently heat the cream in a frying pan until just starting to bubble round the edges then add the grated parmesan in three increments, whisking in between. Add the lemon juice, whisking again then transfer the cooked pasta straight in with a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water. Add the pieces of smoked salmon to warm through and let it gently bubble away for a minute before serving. Place the cappelletti on the plates with some spoonfuls of sauce, salmon pieces, capers and dill. Top with some freshly grated lemon zest and an extra squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

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