Sella di Corno ‘Rags’

‘Stracci’ di Sella di Corno

This delicious and very special dish comes from the little village of Sella di Corno in the Aquila province. It’s quite lengthy and fussy to prepare, so do reserve it for a really special occasion. Despite this, the dish is actually quite inexpensive. It is called ‘Rags’ because the pancakes are wrapped around the filling like cloths.


  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 11 oz (300 g) minced chicken or turkey breast
  • salt and pepper
  • oz (90 g) butter or lard plus extra for greasing
  • 14 oz (400 g) canned tomatoes, sieved, or passata
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain white flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • fl oz (60 ml) cold water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 oz (150 g) mozzarella or scamorza cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons warm melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese


Mix together the onion and celery with the minced chicken or turkey in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Melt half the butter or lard until sizzling, pour it over this mixture and stir together very carefully. Tip the mixture back into the pan in which you melted the fat and sizzle it gently for just a few minutes.

Put the other half of the butter or lard in a second pan, heat until sizzling, then pour in the sieved tomatoes or passata, season with salt and pepper, stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour half of the tomato sauce on to the meat and continue to simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring frequently. Simmer the remaining tomato sauce for only 15 minutes before removing it from the heat.

Beat the eggs with the flour, olive oil, a little salt and the water until you have a completely smooth batter. Heat a small pan suitable for making pancakes and, using the vegetable oil, make as many pancakes as you can out of this batter. You should be able to get 8 out of it quite easily.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C). Cover each pancake with some of the minced meat mixture, dot with mozzarella or scamorza cubes and roll closed. Lay them all in a well-buttered, ovenproof dish, pour over the remaining tomato sauce, pour the warm melted butter over that, sprinkle with the grated cheese and place in the centre of the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, rest for 3 minutes, then serve.