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Casunziei All'Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds) on a white plate topped with sage.
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Casunziei All'Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds)

A recipe for Casunziei All'Ampezzana (Beet Filled Pasta with Poppy Seeds)! This handmade pasta is filled with a creamy beet mixture, then tossed in a butter sage sauce and poppy seeds.
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Keyword beet, dumpling, Italian, Italy, pasta
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients

Beet Filling:

  • 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

Pasta dough:

  • 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

To serve:

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  • Poppy seeds for serving
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

Instructions

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.

To assemble:

  • 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.

To serve:

  • 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.