Its origin can trace back to about 1500, when the Casoncello appeared for the first time in recipe books.
The word “Casoncello” probably stems from two different etymologies:
Caseus, i.e. cheese, which is one of the main ingredients of its filling.
Calzoncini (literally short pants), due to its horseshoe shape, this term recurs more often in the oldest versions of the recipe.
Today there are different versions of the recipe with various fillings. Casoncelli can be filled with meat, ricotta cheese and spinach or pumpkin. However, many restaurants try to create gourmet dishes following modern recipes but still using traditional ingredients that marry beautifully with this type of pasta. In all the province of Brescia regularly take place fairs and local festivals dedicated to the Casoncello, that has accompanied both religious and laical celebrations for centuries.
Among these festivals, the most important and relevant one, called “Fiera del Casoncello De.Co“(where De.Co stands for “municipal designation of origin”) takes place in Barbariga, at the heart of the Brescia valley. The “Municipal Designation of Origin” of the Casoncello was recognized by the Municipality of Barbariga through the approval of specific production regulations, in order to protect this local product.
This Fair was established in 2004 and takes place in the last week of September. Besides promoting the Casoncello, it gives visitors the chance to try other typical local products, directly presented and offered by local producers. Local farmers and producers have the chance to display their products, mainly food or wine, that enhance the quality of the rustic tradition and the origin of the products.
Here you can find the traditional recipe of the Casoncello Bresciano.
Ingredients: 500 g flour, 4 eggs, oil, salt, 1 kg potatoes, 300 g spinach, 100 g breadcrumbs, 150 g minced beef, 1 egg, butter, 50 g amaretti biscuits, 2 or 3 walnuts, parsley, garlic and spices.
After preparing the pasta dough, add some oil and let sit for half an hour. Boil the potatoes and spinach, then add oil and butter and blend with a food processor. Cook the minced beef in a pan with a little butter and oil, then add the blended vegetables.
Remove the pan from the heat and add amaretti biscuits and finely chopped walnuts and combine the ingredients together with the egg and breadcrumbs until it gets drier.
Run the drough through a pasta machine to make it really thin, place on a surface and cut out squares. Spoon a little amount of filling on the squares and fold them close. Now you can cook them in salted boiling water and drain them, then garnish with melted butter and sage. Buon appetito!