It’s fall in Milan. Good food means root vegetables, sweet onions, heavier pasta and a bit of meat with a depth of flavor created by cooking for many hours over low heat, like this recipe for Cappelletti and Pork Ribs.
One of my favorite cities in the world is also the home of the magnificent Four Seasons Hotel Milano, in Italy. I think one of the reasons that this property so special is their location in the heart of the modern Milan fashion district, and the classical Italian Renaissance architecture of the hotel, as it was once a 15th century convent. The Four Seasons Hotel Milano retains much of the charm of the historic architecture, resplendent with covered outdoor galleries framing a serene interior garden that offers delights in all seasons to the guests, especially those who dine at the signature restaurant here called La Veranda. And one of the most delicious dishes for fall is this Cappelletti and Pork Ribs recipe from Four Seasons Milano’s La Veranda restaurant.
La Veranda is a cool space with sleek decor. Windows rise up about two stories and here it’s all about the natural light and garden views in the daytime, and twinkling lights and romantic shadows at night. I have very few requests of a restaurant, but they are non-negotiable for me to enjoy my experience there. Graceful, seamless service, an excellent cellar represented by a knowledgeable sommelier who just might have an adventurous side, and certainly the freshest of ingredients based on the seasons, skillfully prepared by the deft hand of an artist who lets the ingredients speak. On these touch-points, La Veranda delivers with aplomb.
It’s fall now in Milan, a time when heartier fare is what’s called for. Root vegetables, sweet onions, heavier pasta and a bit of meat with a depth of flavor created by cooking for many hours over low heat. This recipe was graciously shared by the La Veranda kitchen for you, our dear readers and cooks. It does take a bit of planning and work to create but the results are more than the sum of its parts. Save this one to create on a drizzly Sunday with a loved one. Pair with a Brunello like the Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012, or the Sangiovese Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino 2011 which is great with pork.
Notes: The recipe was sent to me using gram weight measurements. I have converted it for our American measurement system as close as possible. You may not be able to find Provola Cheese so you can substitute smoked provolone. As for the Semola flour, you may use a fine grind of semolina. Also the “00” flour is an Italian milled flour for pasta also called Doppio Zero. It is not Semolina but a fine milled flour. The “00 flour” is not hard to find.
Cappelletti and Pork Ribs RecipeFour Seasons Hotel Milano's La Veranda Restaurant
- Cappelletti Pasta Dough
- 6 cups plus 2 tablespoons “00” flour
- 1 ½ cups Semola flour
- 11 medium eggs
- Salt to taste
- Genovese-style Pork Filling
- 4.5 pounds meaty pork ribs
- 4 or 5 medium yellow onions each about size of an apple
- Salt to taste
- Smoked Provola Cheese Sauce
- 8 ounces grated sliced or cubed Smoked provola cheese (may substitute smoked provolone)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Butter for glazing pasta
- Cappelletti Pasta
- You could certainly make this the traditional way on a board, by sifting the two flours together, and creating a well for the eggs in the center, mixing and kneading by hand.
- Or use your mixer with dough hook and pasta maker.
- If your kitchen is warm, let dough rest in the fridge.
- Drop the “00” flour, the Semola flour and the eggs in a bowl and mix them for 5
- minutes, then add the salt and keep mixing the ingredients for 20 minutes.
- Once the dough is ready, let it rest for at least 1 hour.
- Genovese Filling
- Trim and cut the pork ribs into smaller pieces and cook them in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C (356°F).
- Then drain fat and remove ribs to a large pot on top of stove.
- Add salt and pepper and heat them in a with extra virgin olive oil on low temperature.
- Julienne the yellow onions and add to the large pot with the cooked pork ribs and extra virgin olive oil.
- Cook sauce for at least for 5 hours on very low heat.
- Once it’s ready, separate the pork ribs from the onions and shred the meat while
- being careful to remove and discard the little bones.
- After that, blend back in the the onions and adjust salt to taste.
- Set aside.
- Smoked Provola Cheese Sauce
- Melt the smoked provola cheese with the cream in a bain-maire.
- Roll out the dough thin, and cut out circle shapes that are 2 inches in diameter.
- Place a teaspoon of the onion/ribs mixture as a filling in the center of each circle.
- Moisten the edges of the circle lightly with a little water, using your finger.
- Fold the circles in half to form a half-moon shape.
- Press down with your fingers along edges to seal.
- Next fold the two sharp edges together and overlap one over the other slightly squeeze them together to adhere together forming a little pointed cap, the classic cappelletti shape.
- When the water is boiling, salt it generously and cook the cappelletti for 5
- After melting some butter in a sauce pan, sauté the pasta with the butter to glaze it, and in the meantime, heat the remainder of the pork ribs.
- To assemble the dish:
- Place a long strip of warmed pork ribs mixture on plate.
- Place a line of the cappelletti on top the meat, and spoon the smoked provola cheese fondue alongside on the plate or present on the side in a ramekin.
Michelle was born with a fork in her hand. As a culinary travel writer and confirmed foodophile she delights in the world-wide discovery of new flavor profiles, spices, salts and herbs. Based in one of the world's foodie meccas; Portland, Oregon, not far from "Pinot Noir Heaven" Michelle shares culinary travel and chef's recipes. Her photography has appeared in Saveur Magazine and she has contributed culinary travel articles to Forbes online, WSJ online, Business Insider, Condé Nast Digital Media, Islands magazine and many others. A confirmed globetrotter, she still keeps her bags packed and fork in hand (well . . . except through airport security.)