I love to make hand crafted pasta and corzetti are such fun to make. They are pasta discs that are stamped with a design, which helps to hold a sauce. They are a regional pasta to Liguria in Italy. In medieval times, they were stamped with the Genovese family crests. To make them by hand, you must have a corzetti stamp.
The corzetti stamp consists of two pieces. One piece, the base, has a hollowed out side, for cutting the pasta discs. The other side of the base has a design and is the side on which you lay the pasta disc. The other piece of each corzetti set is the stamp, with a handle. This has a different design than the base.
Cut out discs of pasta with the cutting side of the stamp. (below, left)
Place cut pasta disc on top of the corzetti base. (below, right)
Take stamp top and press onto disc. (below)
You now have a disc with two different designs, one on each side. (below)
Corzetti stamps are not easy to find. There is a master craftsman, Franco Casoni, who lives in a small town, Chiaveri, and he hand carves these stamps and has supplied them to places like A. G. Ferrari . They are very hard to come by right now and A.G. Ferrari are usually out of stock. You can call them to see if they will be getting any in the future. I understand that Corti Brothers sometimes has them. If you are lucky enough to be in that area of Italy, near Genoa, you can stop in at Signore Casoni's shop and he will actually carve you a stamp right on the spot, with whatever design you like. For some fun accounts of people doing exactly that, read this delightful post by a Slow Traveler who went to Chiaveri (she's also posted photos of Franco) and Divina Cucina's post about Franco and the stamp he made her.
You can also find corzetti stamps at Artisanal Pasta Tools.
Corzetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Herbs
for a printer friendly recipe, click here
It is common in Liguria to add a little wine to the pasta dough.
makes about 90 corzetti
for the Dough:
- 1 cup all purpose flour or Italian 00 flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup white wine
for the Sauce:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1/8 cup pine nuts, plain or toasted*
- handful of chopped herbs (parsley, basil, etc.)
- freshly ground black pepper, salt to taste
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Make pasta dough: Place flour on workspace and make a well in the center. Place the egg yolks in the well and beat lightly with fork. Add white wine to beaten eggs and mix with the fork. Slowly incorporate the flour with the fork until a dough forms. Knead and add flour until the dough is not sticky any more. A pastry scraper helps a lot. This may take a little more flour - you need to just go by the feel of the dough. Wrap in floured plastic and let rest at room temperature for 15 - 30 minutes. Cut in half and take each piece and run it through pasta rollers on the widest setting. Fold in thirds and run through several more times. Adjust rollers to next thinnest setting and pass pasta through. Pass through until you get to the thickness you like - usually #4 or #5 for corzetti. If you make the pasta thinner, using #5, you will be able to make a few more corzetti. Lay pasta sheets on floured counter and cover with towel.
Cut out discs of pasta with your corzetti base and lay on sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. You can take your scraps and run them through the pasta rollers again to get the maximum number of corzetti. Repeat until all pasta has been used and you have 80 - 100 discs of pasta.
Stamp corzetti: Turn corzetti base so design is right side up. Place one pasta disc on the base. Take the corzetti stamp and press down. Remove pasta disc to parchment. If pasta sticks to stamp, lightly flour. Repeat until all discs are stamped.
Place corzetti in boiling, salted water and cook two minutes. Lift with a strainer and dress with sauce.
(You can place the corzetti in the freezer on the baking sheets and then put them in plastic bags and keep in the freezer, if you like. No need to thaw to cook them.)
Sauce: Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute garlic for one minute. Add pine nuts and herbs. Add pepper and salt to taste. When corzetti are done cooking, lift them out with a strainer and place right into skillet. Toss with sauce. Place pasta in a serving bowl and toss with as much freshly grated parmesan cheese as you like.
* To toast pine nuts (this brings out their flavor a little more) place in a small, dry skillet and toast over medium heat until lightly golden.
Corzetti with pine nuts, parmesan and herbs.