Recently I purchased a number of pasta making tools from Terry Mirri, an artisan handcrafting some traditional items out in Sonoma, California. Check out his website to see some amazing craftsmanship www.artisanalpastatools.com. He makes corzetti stamps, cavarola boards, garganelli/gnocchi boards and polenta boards. Everything is very traditional, just like artisans were making similar implements hundreds of years ago.
Last night I made some corzetti and served it with basil pesto as is done in Liguria. Some zucchini blossom pieces are scattered on top (because the zucchini vine is taking over the front yard).
But first things first. What are corzetti? Here’s the description from ‘The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink’ by John Mariani:
“Pasta made with white, whole wheat, or chestnut flour, shaped into rounds, and embossed with a pattern (commonly a star) with a wooden stamp, from Liguria. Corzetti are named after old Genovese stamped money pieces, and old stamps, many now family heirlooms, commemorate heraldry or Genoa’s history.”
Here’s what the pasta discs look like after being pressed between the 2 segments of the corzetti stamp:
Beautiful. At this point I didn’t even care if I cooked them. I was happy just to look at the corzetti.
But eventually hunger won out. The dough is a basic ravioli dough with flour, eggs, semolina, a little milk and a splash of olive oil. Your favourite egg-based pasta recipe should work fine. Roll the dough so it still has enough thickness to accept the impressions on both sides. Too thin and it won’t work out. Too thick and your pasta will be too heavy.
Serve with basil pesto:
2 cups packed basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
Put everything in the food processor and pulse until the desired consistency is attained.