Thursday, December 17, 2015

wondering what to cook for Christmas?

This stuffed pasta reminds me so much of an ornament that I had to hold myself from not hanging a few on the Christmas tree but I did decide to add them to our Christmas menu, which, in a way or another, settles the urge.

Stuffed with a mixture of potatoes, fresh mint and pecorino cheese, these tasty-good-looking ravioli from Sardinia are called culurgiones. The decorative closure is less intimidating as it may seem, all you need is a good dose of patience to find the right stitch and pinch gesture.  Once you make a few you'll get a hang of it and before you know it, your kitchen will turn into a culurgiones factory!

Hope this finds room on your Christmas table as well.
Culurgiones with Simple Tomato Sauce

Pasta dough
120 gr durum flour
80 gr plain flour
warm water
a pinch of salt

2 big potatoes
50 gr aged pecorino cheese, grated
50 gr fresh pecorino cheese, grated
8 leaves of "fresh" mint
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
pinch of salt
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

tomato puree
1 small onion, finely chopped or sliced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Boil the potatoes, peel and pass them through a potato masher.

To make the dough, mix both flours in a bowl and a pinch of salt.  Add the warm water a little at a time until the dough is formed.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the filling by adding all ingredients in a bowl, mashed potatoes, fresh mint, both pecorino cheese, a pinch of salt, extra virgin olive oil and the garlic.  First mix with a spoon and then with your hands to get all the ingredients together.  It would be best to make the filling the day before so that the flavor have time to absorb.

Make the sauce.  In a preheated pan add a the extra virgin olive oil and the onion.  When the onion is translucent add the pureed tomato sauce and a pinch of salt to season.  Let it simmer the 20 minutes.
Roll out the pasta dough and use a glass to make round disks (approx. 6 cm diameter).  Fill each disk with the filling and follow the video below for the closure.

Cook in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 3/4 minutes or until the culurgiones float on the surface.  Drain and serve with the fresh tomato sauce and some more pecorino cheese.


  1. These are so elegant, perfect for a holiday get-together. They remind me of a type of pasta that Ciao Chow Linda posted awhile back, a recipe and technique she learned from her cousin in Emilia-Romagna. I wonder if both regions have versions or if the technique somehow migrated. The filling reminds me of some of the pasta fillings I had when I was in Liguria last spring. Here's to the beauty, mystery and wonder of regional Italian food!

    1. ...and you know Domenica, this is one of the reasons why I love to cook. Behind every dish, meal or recipe there's always a story to tell, a piece of tradition, a curiosity and a great exchange of minds, ideas and creativity. È un mondo meraviglioso di bontá.

  2. We have just come back from spending the day with Elvira in her kitchen making these wonderful culurgiones and so many more pasta shapes. We cooked them and enjoyed them with her outstanding tomato sauce. The culurgiones and the entire day were simply magical. Thank you Elvira for a perfect day. Can't wait to do it again.

    1. We had such a great time together. Cheers to new friendships!