Cappello da Gendarme
Cappello da Gendarme
(Gendarme's Hat - a speciality of Lecce, basically a pie filled with vegetables, pork, pasta, eggs and cheese... not for the faint-hearted!)
Ingredients (for 4 people – with plenty left over for the next day!)
For the pastry
350g self-raising flour
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of salt
For the filling
200g small pasta such as maccheroncini
200g pork sausage meat
4 hard-boiled eggs
100g mozzarella cheese (bufala is even better!)
Salt and pepper
Cazzetta Extra virgin olive oil
Pass the flour through a sieve and then form into a well shape. Add the oil and the salt and mix well. If it is too dry, add a little warm water. Keep kneading and working the dough you have a nice ball that is not too sticky (add a little more flour if this is the case). Then cover with a tea-towel and leave to rest for about 1 hour.
While the pastry dough is resting, you can start work on the filling. First, wash the vegetables and cut into smallish cubes. Place the aubergine pieces in a colander, sprinkle with salt, cover with a weight and leave in the sink for about half an hour to extract any excess liquid.
When the aubergine is ready, add to the courgette and fry in olive oil until golden all over. Take out and place on some kitchen roll to remove any excess oil. Then, gently sauté small chunks of the sausage meat in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes. Don’t leave it too long as they will be fully cooked later.
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain well and mix with the aubegines, courgettes and sausage meat.
Hard-boil and then slice some eggs and break the mozzarella into small chunks. Now all your ingredients are ready!
Roll out the pastry into an oval until it is a little less than 1cm thick. Then, on one half add all the ingredients (aubergines and courgettes, sausage meat and pasta, hard-boiled eggs, and, on top, mozzarella). Season to taste and then fold the second half over on top. Seal the edges with a beaten egg or a little water, crimp well and place onto a baking tray covered with oven-proof paper. Place in a pre-heated oven (about 200 C) and cook for about half an hour, or until the pastry is cooked and browned.