Capeletis a la Caruso ~ Tortellini in Cream Sauce

Capeletis a la Caruso
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Capeletis a la Caruso is a Uruguayan recipe of beef tortellini pasta in a cream sauce. This recipe has an obvious Italian influence but it is an Authentic Uruguayan recipe. Unlike most recipes this one can be traced back to a specific date, location, restaurant, and chef, we even know who had the first bite. See the “Did You Know” section below for detailed info.


Capeletis a la Caruso

If time is an issue you can buy tortellini pasta and make the sauce but if you have time this is a wonderful taste of Uruguayan cuisine.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Uruguayan
Keyword Beef
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Mike Gonzalez


Fresh Egg Pasta:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 5 Eggs
  • Pinch Salt and water

Pasta Filling:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 5 oz semi-hard Colonia cheese grated
  • 3 ½ oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 5 oz red wine
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • nutmeg to taste

Caruso Sauce:

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ⅓ cups mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 16 oz heavy cream
  • ½ cup ham diced
  • ½ cup semi-hard cheese grated
  • 1 oz oil
  • nutmeg to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley chopped


Preparation of Fresh Egg Pasta:

  • Place the sifted flour in a mixing bowl with the eggs and salt dissolved in one or two tablespoons of water then begin to knead until obtaining a solid mass. Let it rest between 6 hours and 12 hours covered in the refrigerator.

Preparation of Paste Filling:

  • Heat oil in a pan ad the beef and cook until browned then remove the beef into a mixing bowl.
  • Deglaze the pan with wine then remove from the heat and let cool down and set aside to use in the sauce.
  • In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly until the mix turns into a consistency of thick paste that can be worked with a spoon.

Prepare the Cappelletti:

  • Divide the dough into portions and roll the dough out flat.
  • Cut the dough into squares of about 2 inches on each side.
  • Scoop a small portion of filling in the center of each square and fold diagonally, into triangles and then join the ends around one finger of the hand and press the edges, don’t let the paste dry out in this step.
  • Place the cappelletti on lightly floured trays and leave to rest in a dry, cool, and airy place for at least 2 to 3 hours before cooking.
  • Cook the cappelletti in plenty of salty water and drain them al dente.

Preparation Caruso Sauce:

  • In a large frying pan, melt the butter and sauté the finely chopped onion over low heat without coloring.
  • Increase temperature to high heat, add the fresh mushrooms, and when they are golden brown add the ham and let it caramelize for a few moments, deglaze with the white wine and reduce until almost dry.
  • Add the heavy cream and the meat deglazing sauce while reducing the heat until a good velvety and fluffy texture is obtained. Add the remaining spices and the grated cheese until fully melted.

Assemble the Meal:

  • In the same pan mix the Cappelletti with the sauce and sauté, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve.

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Did You Know?

Caruso sauce was first created in the 1950s in Uruguay, South America, by Raymundo Monti of the restaurant ‘Mario and Alberto’, located at the intersection of Constituyente and Tacuarembó Streets in Montevideo. Monti wanted to create a new recipe following the current traditions of Italian cuisine. The dish was named in honor of the famous Neapolitan tenor Enrico Caruso (1873–1921) who was a popular figure in South America during his tours of the 1910s.

Pennino’s Neapolitan song Pecchè recorded by Caruso on the 7th of January 1915.

The sauce was originally thought to be a variant of bechamel but its flavor is distinctly different. Several culinary seminars referred to Caruso sauce as “the new invention” and it gained international culinary recognition. In recent decades, the sauce has become increasingly popular in most South American and Western European countries.

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Due to the shared cultural background existing between Uruguay and Argentina, it is not unusual to encounter Caruso sauce on restaurant menus in Buenos Aires. It can even be found in some Brazilian restaurants.

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