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The first mentions of "Cappellacci di Zucca ferraresi" are found in the Renaissance cookbooks of the Scalchi in the service of the d'Este family in Ferrara where we find the first references to "tortelli di zucca con il butirro." The ingredients are the same as the present recipe except for the addition of some spices, such as ginger and pepper, now fallen into disuse but particularly popular at the time. Some local historians claim that the dialect term "caplaz" originated because of the product's shape vaguely resembling that of the straw hat of peasants, called caplaz to be exact.
The gourd usually used is the violina, a variety that owes its name to its elongated shape similar to that of the musical instrument, for which, in the past, it also served as a water or wine reservoir and as a container for gunpowder.
After it is cooked, steamed or baked, its flesh is mixed with parmesan or grana padano cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg; the filling is thus ready to be enclosed in tortello form in the hand-prepared pastry.
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