A recipe for Casunziei All’Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds) in celebration of #FoodieExtravaganza’s National Pasta Month! This handmade pasta is filled with a creamy beet mixture, then tossed in a butter sage sauce and poppy seeds.
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#FoodieExtravaganza is where we celebrate food holidays by cooking and baking together with the same ingredient or theme each month.
Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting this time and decided to feature National Pasta Month! Other foods celebrated in October include cookies, Pork, Pierogi, Caramel, Chocolate, Pumpkin, Apple, and more. I am joining today with a recipe for Casunziei All’Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds)!
Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza.
Casunziei All’Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds)
When searching through my cookbook collection for ideas to make for the Foodie Extravaganza pasta event, I kept coming back to Alpine Cooking by Meredith Erickson. A friend gave me the book for my birthday a few months ago and it is filled with such a wonderful collection of comforting, hearty dishes from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and France.
The Casunziei All’Ampezzana in particular caught my attention and is the inspiration for today’s recipe. It has such a gorgeous and vibrant filling! According to Alpine Cooking, the name of this dish in the Ladin dialect translates to “filled fresh pasta” and originated in the Dolomites in Northeastern Italy.
The crescent or half-moon shaped pieces of pasta are filled with a creamy beet mixture flavored with potatoes, ricotta, nutmeg (have also seen cinnamon), and breadcrumbs.
To serve, gently toss the boiled Casunziei All’Ampezzana with melted butter and crisp sage leaves. Keeping it simple helps the color of the filling really shine through and not get covered up by a sauce. Top with a generous sprinkle of poppy seeds along with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
A Few Tips
I steamed the beets and potatoes to cook them with as little moisture as possible. If you do not have a steamer, they can be boiled until tender. You will just have to make sure to drain any excess liquid before mixing in the remaining ingredients. If the filling is still too wet to pipe, stir in a little more breadcrumbs to create a smooth and creamy mixture.
I added a couple of small potatoes to the beets, but have also seen recipes mention yellow turnips.
Slowly add a little more water if the pasta dough is too dry and crumbly. If too wet and sticky, slowly add a little more flour until easier to handle (take care not to add too much).
I rolled the dough out by hand. It needs to be a thin sheet, about 1/16-1/8 (1.5-3 mm) thick. If unable roll it by hand, you can also use a pasta machine to the thinnest setting. This way, you will be able to see the vibrant beets through the dough, especially after cooking.
If you have a difficult time rolling the dough and it keeps shrinking back, wrap back up in the plastic and allow it to rest for another 15 minutes or so.
Until you get used to quickly folding the pasta shape, cover the unfolded circles of pasta with a towel as you work to keep them from drying out. If you do find the edges starting to dry, dampen them with just a little touch of water to help the edges stick together.
Arrange the formed Casunziei in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you don’t want to cook them right away, freeze the baking sheet and once chilled, transferred the pasta to an airtight, freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Boil straight from the freezer. A couple of minutes may need to be added to the cooking time.
I topped the Casunziei Ampezzani with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, but have also seen other recipes use smoked ricotta.
Check out what everyone else made!
- Baked Mostaccioli by Palatable Pastime
- Blue Evolution Penne + Farming the Ocean by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Casunziei All’Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds) by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Chinese Pickled Mustard and Noodle Soup by Pandemonium Noshery
- Grain-Free Garbanzo Beans Pasta and Paneer Soup by Magical Ingredients
- Instant Noodles Shots by Sneha’s Recipe
- Karen’s Lasagna Bolognese by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Meatball, Spinach and Tortellini al Brodo by Food Lust People Love
- One Pot Lasagne Soup by Our Good Life
Casunziei All’Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds) Recipe
Adapted from Alpine Cooking
Casunziei All'Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds)
- 1 pound (450 grams) red beets unpeeled
- 9 ounces (255 grams) russet potatoes unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup (80 grams) ricotta
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 cups (315 grams) '00' or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) fine semolina
- Pinch salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 20 fresh sage leaves
- Poppy seeds for serving
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
To make the beet filling:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cover with a steamer basket and add the beets and potatoes.
- Steam the vegetables until completely tender, 30-45 minutes. Remove from the steamer and peel once cool enough to handle.
- Push the cooked beets and potatoes through a ricer or pulse in a food processor until smooth.
- Place the pureed mixture in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside until cooled and any excess moisture has been drained, about 20 minutes.
- While the beets and potatoes are draining, place the 2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter in a small pan over medium heat.
- Once melted, stir in the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often until golden. Set aside.
- Place the drained beets and potatoes in a medium bowl. Stir in the ricotta, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Mix in the breadcrumbs and adjust seasonings to taste. If the filling is still too wet, add a little more breadcrumbs. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To make the pasta dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or a large bowl, add the flour and semolina, then make a well in the center.
- Add the eggs and mix until well-combined.
- Slowly add just enough water to create a soft dough. If too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little more water.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces.
- Place one piece on a semolina-dusted work surface and cover the remainder. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip or a large freezer bag with a little over 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeter) hole cut into the corner with the cooked beet mixture.
- Roll the dough into a thin sheet using a pasta machine or rolling pin, until it is about 1/16th inch (1.5 millimeter) thick.
- Cut the sheet of pasta into circles using a round 3 inch (8 centimeter) cutter.
- Pipe about 2 teaspoons of filling across half of one circle, leaving the edges clear.
- Fold the circle in half over the filling and seal to create a crescent or half moon shape. Press down on the edges firmly to seal well. If the dough will not stick together, dip your finger in a little water.
- Place the filled pasta on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining circles and dough.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil.
- Add a few assembled Casunziei at a time and cook, stirring lightly to keep them from sticking to the sides of the pot, until they rise to the top and are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large pan.
- Add the fresh sage leaves and cook until crisp and the butter is melted.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the boiled Casunziei from the water to the butter.
- Toss gently to coat.
- Divide the pasta among serving bowls. Top with a little more butter if desired along with the crispy sage leaves.
- Sprinkle the tops with a generous amount of poppy seeds. If desired, add a bit of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Serve immediately.