Culurgiones Recipe | Potato-Stuffed Italian "Dumplings"
This incredible stuffed pasta comes from Sardinia, a region known for its highly decorated food. These "ravioli" are fitting additions with their intricately-folded seams. Don't let the cute appearance fool you: the taste of the mint and potato filling is the real draw, here.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
Makes 30-40 culurgiones.
For this recipe, you will need:
~1.5 lbs (680g) whole russet potatoes
Vegetable mill (optional but recommended)
8 oz. (250g) grated pecorino cheese, or to taste, plus extra for topping
1 clove garlic, minced or mashed
3.5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6-8 fresh mint leaves, chopped
Fresh black pepper
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (80g) semolina flour
~1/2 cup (120ml) water
We recommend making the stuffing the day before, as it's best when left overnight in the fridge.
Keeping the skins on, boil the potatoes until you can easily insert a fork into the center (about 45 minutes depending on the size). Drain them, let them cool to the touch, then peel them with a paring knife. Mash the potatoes into a large bowl. The best way to do so is with a vegetable mill, but feel free to use your method of choice.
Into the mashed potatoes add the grated cheese, garlic, 3 tbsp. olive oil, and chopped mint. Mix thoroughly by hand, then season to taste with salt, pepper and more grated cheese if desired. Finish the stuffing by mixing in an egg.
If you have the time, let the stuffing rest, covered, in the fridge overnight.
To make the dough, combine the flours, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, and water in a mixing bowl. The amount of water needed can vary substantially depending on the flour, so we recommend gradually adding it until you achieve a soft, but not sticky, texture.
Mix the ingredients by hand in the bowl while adding the water. When a soft dough has formed, transfer it to a clean surface and knead until smooth and even. Dust the dough with all-purpose flour if it becomes sticky. Wrap it in plastic and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Time to roll out the dough! You can do so with a pasta machine or rolling pin. In either case, we recommend doing so in small batches. Keep the unused dough wrapped in plastic while you work so that it doesn't dry out.
Dusting with flour as necessary to prevent sticking, roll a piece of the dough out until it is about 1/16th inch (2mm, or a #5 pasta machine setting). Use the lid of a jar or a cookie cutter to cut circles of dough about 3.5 inches (9cm) in diameter.
Now comes the tricky part, filling and sealing the culurgiones... Don't worry, though, they'll still taste great even if they aren't picture perfect! The following technique will make much more sense if you watch the video above; we recommend doing so if you haven't already.
Drape a circle of dough on one hand. Place a generous pinch of stuffing in the center (it should be slightly too much for the dough to hold). Pinch one end of the circle together, then work your way along the top, pinching the seam closed. Alternate pinching each side in, first with your index finger and then with your thumb. As you work along the seam, you will gradually push the excess stuffing out, creating a perfect air-free seal.
Arrange each finished piece on a surface lightly dusted with flour, making sure they don't touch each other. Repeat until you've used up all of the dough and/or stuffing.
The completed culurgiones can be frozen for later. Place them on a baking tray or platter and freeze solid. At that point they can be transferred into a plastic bag or other container.
Culurgiones are typically prepared with a simple tomato sauce, which should be warmed in a pan or pot in advance. Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Carefully drop the culurgiones in and boil for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve on top of ladled tomato sauce on a plate or serving platter. Top the culurgiones with extra sauce and grated cheese to taste.