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Caps in Hackettstown, 6-19-05

Dorothy told Lee Jr how to make caps on 10-1-08.

The Meat

  • 2 lbs pork (the inexpensive cut... I forget the name)
  • 2 lbs beef (the inexpensive cut... I forget the name)
  • 1-2 sticks of margarine
  • a lot of allspice

Take 2 pounds each of the cheapest piece of pork and beef, I forget the names and cube them. Throw in a stick of margarine in the pot. Add ground allspice... "a real lot"... like 3/4 of a tiny container of Mcormicks... and add more to your desire. Cook on medium for like 40 minutes to cook them through.

Put it all in the meat grinder.

Take 3 eggs, put them right into the ground meat.

"and then a hell of a lot of parmesian cheese" preground locatelli romano is good... maybe 3/4 lbs or so.

Put this in the fridge and make the pasta. It freezes well so if you're making it over time, freeze it in small batches then defrost as you go.

Tami's Meat Recipe

Tami's meat recipe for Ravioli and Cappeletti Meat is similar:

  • 3 lbs beef and pork (cubed)
  • 1 stick margarine
  • allspice, salt, pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a pot and cook

Grind meat and put into bowl and add 4 or 5 eggs

The Pasta

Lee making caps
Caps table

Dorothy, "I make 8 eggs of pasta at a time. Make a ring around of flour. Add some water, the 8 eggs. Incorporate it all."

Knead it all up until it's a smooth, dryish dough.

Cut the pasta into small enough pieces that you can roll.... otherwise it'll get dry.

So you've got this great big glob of pasta... Cut off a piece and put it in a bowl, add some flour. Do that with all the pasta.

You end up with several small globs of pasta in a big bowl... so now can pull them off individually when you need to. Swiggle some oil over the whole thing to keep them moist while you work.

Put the bowl of dough in the fridge. It'll be good for days.

Notes from Lee 11-19-09: I've made it with fresh dough and refrigerated dough. The refrigerated dough behaved much differently. The oil has a chance to soak in. Instead of lubricating everything with flour, everything is lubricated with oil. The trouble is, after you've rolled out the dough, if you don't wait 15 minutes for it to relax, the dough contracts when you cut it; the bits of pasta become thick and small instead of thin and large.

The key to making a good cap shape is to press the pasta together properly. How I do it:

  1. make a square of pasta
  2. put a dab of meat on it (put the largest piece of meat you can on it and have it still make a cap
  3. using both hands, grab the two far corners of the pasta
  4. fold the pasta back over the meat, using one thumb to hold the meat in place.
  5. press with index and middle fingers hard, down and together to seal the meat pocket. Be careful, too much inward pressure will make the meat "cap" burst.
  6. while still pressing somewhat, bring my two middle fingers around the back side of the cap to seal them together.


Roll out the pasta. Cut it in strips and then...





College Inn Chicken broth is what the family traditionally uses, Lee likes Better Than Bouillon Chicken. Bring the broth to a boil and add caps. Don't add too many or it will take too long to cook and they'll get soft. Simmer for 2-5 minutes.

Serve as soup, hot in a bowl with grated Locatelli cheese.