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A-Z of Making Pasta Shapes: Corzetti

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Did you know there are two kinds of corzetti? No? Well, now you do!

They are found in Liguria and Piedmont, and while the dough, made of flour, eggs, water, and sometimes wine, is very similar in both regions, the shape varies significantly.

In Piedmont, croset are indented like a cavatello. Chickpea-sized pieces of dough are pinched off, placed on a wooden board, and pressed at the ends with the tips of the index fingers to produce a figure-8 shape. Throughout Liguria, the dough is pressed between two wooden moulds to shape the traditional corzetto stampato. Here they are usually served with a Ligurian basil or marjoram pesto.

The earliest forms of these medal-like discs of dough were imprinted with local coins, but over the centuries, moulds with intricate patterns were created to embellish the pasta.

Where to find Corzetti moulds in Italy?

Today, in Italy, you can buy corzetti stamps with classic designs or have them customised by a handful of artists or artisans specialising in the craft.

One of them is Franco Casoni, a renowned wood sculptor based in Chiavari, Liguria.

Another great artisan who makes the corzetti stamps is Romagnoli Pasta tools in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a tiny town 20 minutes from Florence.

Corzetti mould from Romagnoli Pasta Tools.

A visit to their shop is a must for every pasta maker out there!

Where to find Corzetti moulds in Australia?

In Melbourne, Costante Imports have a wide range of Corzetti, or if you prefer to buy them online, try The Coastal Italian Store

Today I am sharing a recipe from A Small Kitchen in Genoa. Enrica's bright and delicate food blog is devoted to the historical culinary traditions of Liguria, and you can find a lot of recipes and exciting tips for foodies around Liguria. She also runs cooking classes and food tours in Genoa.

Melbourne, we are finally out of lockdown, and soon we will be travelling again! I Can't wait to visit Liguria and Enrica.


Serves 4

Pasta Dough:

(makes about 60 corzetti)

  • 300g (1+½ cup) flour

  • 1 egg

  • 50 ml (4 tablespoons) lukewarm water

  • 50 ml (4 tablespoons) dry white wine

  • A pinch of salt

Walnut Pesto:

  • 1 big slice white bread, crusts removed

  • 1 cup milk

  • ½ glove of garlic

  • Salt

  • 100g (1 cup) walnuts kernels – they can be used with the skin on or can be blanched and peeled

  • 10 leaves fresh marjoram

  • 1 Tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano

  • 5 Tablespoons light extra virgin olive oil

  • Lukewarm water

Tools needed:

- Mortar and pestle or food processor

- Rolling pin or pasta machine

- a corzetti mould

Making the dough:

Put the flour on a working surface and make a well in the middle like a volcano.

Crack the egg in the centre of the well and beat it slightly with a fork. Then add the white wine, water, and a pinch of salt and start mixing the liquids. Gently add the flour, digging the side of the well with the fork.

When the dough starts coming together, dig your hands in and knead it, pressing with the lower part of your palm.

If the dough doesn't come together and is crumbly, add a small quantity of water. Keep kneading until you get a soft and elastic dough. You can check if it is elastic enough by putting a finger in the dough: when it returns in its previous shape, and the hole disappears, it's ready.

Let it rest under a damp tea towel for half an hour.

Making the pesto:

While the dough is resting, let's make the pesto.

This pesto is so simple, delicious and creamy that you won't believe it! Try it with dried fusilli or spirals if you don't have time to make fresh pasta.

If you're using a mortar and pestle:

Place the bread in a bowl and cover it with the milk. When the bread is completely soaked, drain it, and squeeze the milk out with your hands. Reserve the bread and discard the milk.

Place garlic and a pinch of salt in the mortar and grind until you have a paste. Add walnuts and continue grinding until you have a rough paste. Add marjoram leaves and grind all ingredients together until well combined.

Finally, add the drained bread and Parmigiano and crush gently with the rest of the ingredients.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the olive oil and lukewarm water as needed to obtain a thick creamy sauce.

If you're using a food processor:

Place the bread in a bowl and cover it with the milk. When the bread is completely soaked, drain it, and squeeze the milk out with your hands. Reserve the bread and discard the milk.

Put the drained bread in the food processor along with walnuts, garlic, marjoram, Parmigiano, and salt. Pulse for a couple of minutes until you get a smooth paste.

Add the olive oil and lukewarm water as needed to obtain a thick creamy sauce.

Walnut pesto sauce ready!

Rolling and making corzetti:

On a surface well dusted with flour, roll the dough into a medium thickness sheet. You can use a pasta machine or a rolling pin. Using the bottom part of the corzetto mould, cut many small circles. Place each circle between the two carved parts of the mould and press to imprint the design. You may need to dust the dough and the mould with some flour to avoid the dough sticking to the mould.


Cooking and serving:

Boil corzetti in a big pan of salty water for about 7-10 minutes (cooking time depends on the thickness of the pasta). Drain the corzetti and set aside ½ a cup of boiling water.

Place the corzetti in a serving bowl, add your pesto and mix well.

Loosen it up with 2 or 3 tablespoons of pasta water. This step results in a luxuriously smooth and creamy sauce. The pasta sauce has salt that lends extra flavour and starch that adds a silky richness to your pesto.

Before serving, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Buon appetito!

I garnished my corzetti with some edible flowers, it's Spring!

Corzetti with walnut pesto. Printable version
Download PDF • 248KB



The A-Z of Making Pasta Shapes series is well underway on my social platforms, and I'm already having so much fun teaching you how to make pasta shapes. Have you managed to join in? I hope so, but if not, here's a recap.

Every week I share how to make particular pasta shapes corresponding with letters of the alphabet. Every letter will represent one or more pasta shapes. So far, I've covered A for Agnolotti, B for Blecs and for Busiate, C for Cannelloni, Cappelletti, Cavatelli and I'm continuing the letter C this week by showing you how to make Corzetti .

Tune in to @_pastajourney_ social posts and stories to discover the best pasta recipes and how to perfect the shapes.

The A-Z of Making Pasta Shapes series wants to celebrate all handmade pasta shapes according to the tradition, so if you want to know more about a pasta shape, just put the name in the comments.


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