Culingionis or culurzones are sardinian ravioli stuffed with potato, pecorino, and mint. What first attracted me to these was how the edges are pinched together, and I’ve been studying them for the longest time in order to figure out how it’s done. My pleats are awkward and too big, not small and dainty like these here.
I used a recipe from the combination of 2 cookbooks but the pasta lacks the yellow color like those found at the supermarket. To remedy this, a pinch of saffron powder (or you could use yellow food color) was added to the cooking water. It ended up too yellow but the flavor was great.
Culingionis or Culurzones
The dual names reflect the difference between dialect and standard italian. Serves 4.
For the pasta:
2 cups bread or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
For the filling:
1 pound white or yellow potatoes
5 oz. fresh pecorino, grated
1/4 cup finely julienned fresh mint
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
*Aged pecorino for grating
*Yellow food color or saffron powder (optional)
1. Boil the potatoes until tender. While the spuds are boiling, start making the pasta. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash them in a large bowl, add the grated fresh pecorino, mint, and garlic. Mix to thoroughly combine. Set aside to cool.
2. Making the pasta: Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl or work surface. (You can also make this with a KitchenAid mixer). Add a pinch of salt, a good drizzle of olive oil, and the water. Work everything together with your hands, adding more water as needed to yield a firm dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
3. Forming the culurzones: Roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/16th of an inch. Cut out 3-inch circles and top each with a small ball of filling. I suggest rolling the filling into oval shapes to facilitate the sealing process. Bring up the sides to enclose and make a series of pleats, press firmly at each fold. Use a dab of water only if necessary to moisten the edges. Makes about 3 dozen.
4. Butta la pasta!: Start cooking the pasta! Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt to taste and add a drop of food color or a pinch of saffron powder. If cooking all of the culurzones, make sure to have a very large pot or do this in batches. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Drain and serve immediately with a drizzle of quality olive oil and grated pecorino or your favorite tomato sauce recipe.
Note: On the first day, since the culurzones were obviously very fresh, and very fragile, it took only 3 minutes to cook. After sitting in the fridge overnight, they were much sturdier and the cooking time went up to 5 minutes.