Updated: Dec 12, 2021
Sardinia is a land of emerald seas and rough yet beautiful landscapes, a region where, more than in many others, history and culture developed independently from the rest of Italy.
Spanish Tower in Santa Teresa di Gallura. 2. Alghero's Harbour.
So here we have pasta shapes from Sardinia that are truly little works of art.
Culurgiones are among the best-known traditional Sardinian dishes originating from Ogliastra and have probably the most sinuous shape of all ravioli. They look like an expert tailor hand has sewn them. The way they are stitched will remind you of a wheat spike.
As with most Italian pasta shapes, culurgiones have many names (culurzones, Kulurjones, angiolottus, culingionis, and spighitti), and different fillings, and slightly different shapes in Sardinia. In Ogliastra, the filling is potato flavoured with mint; around Cagliari, they are filled with pecorino and chard.
Where to eat Culurgiones in Sardina?
According to Claudia from Strictly Sardinia, the best culurgiones are those from the charming medieval village of Seui, which are made with a cheese called ‘cas’e fitta’ that is kept in water and salt. They are served boiled with abundant pecorino cheese or with a plain tomato sauce.
Agriturismo Guthiddai in Nuoro and While Restaurant in Cagliari are great places to try Culurgiones. Don’t miss Osteria Paradiso in Cagliari if you want to try fried culurgiones, a rather ‘modern’ way to eat them.
Where to eat Culurgiones in Melbourne?
Outside of Sardinia, culurgiones is not very easy to find, but how lucky are we here in Melbourne to have Pausa Pranzo? Owner, Mauro is from Sardinia, and occasionally you can find them on their menu.
200g semolina flour
100 ml water
A pinch of salt
80g Pecorino Sardo, finely grated
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 garlic glove, minced to a pulp
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of saffron (optional)
Tomato sauce and basil leaves or chili oil
- 8-10 cm cookie cutter or a glass
- a medium pot for cooking culurgionres
How to make culurgiones' Dough:
Begin by making the pasta dough.
Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well and add the salt. Gently mix to combine.
Slowly incorporate the water into the flour, using a fork to mix.
Once the water is mixed into the flour, put the dough on a wooden surface and start using your hands to knead for about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a tea towel or a bowl and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before using.
Making the filling:
Peel, quarter and boil the potatoes. When cooked, after 15 minutes or so, drain and mash them. Once cooled to lukewarm, mix all the filling ingredients with your hands in a bowl and set aside.
Rolling and shaping culurgiones:
After the resting time, roll out the dough not too thin, about 3 mm thick. I stopped at number six with my Marcato Pasta Machine.
Use the cookie cutter to make circles in the dough and keep them covered with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
Add a walnut-sized filling into the centre of each pasta circle. Place one of the circles on your left hand and start to ‘sew’ with the tip of your thumb and the forefinger of your right hand. Start at one end of the half-moon and continue across the top.
It is not easy to get the right movement, so don’t give up but keep going till you get the hang of it.
Head to my IG to watch a video about ‘sewing’.
Towards the end of the sewing process, your filling will probably creep out but don’t worry, that means you have made plump culurgionis.
Cooking and serving:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the culurgionis in batches for about 5 minutes.
Once cooked, you could serve them with a simple tomato sauce and basil leaves or chili oil if you like them spicy as I do!
We loved them, and the day after, I fried them in hot vegetable oil (like you can do with tortellini), and they were so crispy and yummy!
THE A-Z OF MAKING PASTA SHAPES
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, Corzetti and I'm continuing the letter C this week by showing you how to make Culurgiones.
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.