Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Casunziei

Casunziei is completely Cortina, all the way. The normal reaction, if you've never heard of it - which most people never have - is to say "cas....what?!?!" Casunziei are half-moon shaped, very thin ravioli, stuffed traditionally with beets (also can be spinach but that's another story), and topped with melted butter and poppy seeds. It's a dish that we force all of our visitors to try (they all give it rave reviews) and one that we crave when we're in Colorado in the summer. We usually eat it at one of our favorite restaurants in town, but a few months ago, we made it at home for an article that I was writing for Italia Magazine. It took about four hours, but it's good to know that if we ever get a craving when we're away from Cortina, we know how to solve the problem.


Casunziei
Serves 6 (Makes about 60-70 ravioli)

For the filling:
4 small beets, roasted
1/2 ricotta
1 egg
2 tbsp melted butter
Salt and pepper

For the pasta:
2 cups flour
2 eggs
Water, as needed for the dough

For serving:
1/3 cup melted butter
Poppy seeds
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To make the filling, put the roasted beets through a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the ricotta, egg, melted butter and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out sheets of pasta (here's how we make it) and cut circles with the top of a glass. Fill each circle with a small spoonful of the beet mixture and fold in half to seal, using a bit of water to seal the edges together.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil and add the casunziei – you don’t want to crowd them in the water so you will have to work in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes; remove from the water with a slotted spoon and drain. To serve, top with a sprinkle of poppy seeds and Parmesan and drizzle with melted butter.