Break Out the Pasta Machine! Today We’re Making Corzetti.

Corzetti Fatte in Casa

Yes, the Kitchens are open once again! I’ve decided to go ahead and publish a recipe that I had planned to post upon my return from San Marino in May. It involves a gift I brought to my “Zia P” in San Marino — but I’m getting ahead of myself …

Corzetti pasta has a long lineage. According to one legend, the pasta disks originated in 13th century Liguria and were intended to mimic gold coins of the Crusades era. The word corzetti, in fact, is said to be derived from the image of the Cross that some coins bore. Over the years, the disks had less to do with coins as they became symbols for wealthy Genovese families who often stamped them with their family crests and served them to their dinner guests. Today, the stamps are made with a variety of designs. If you’re lucky enough to find a craftsman, you can have them made to order with the stamp of your choosing.  This is where I come in.

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Corzetti Pasta 7

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Several months ago, once my trip to Italy was assured, I began to look for a gift to bring my Zia P in San Marino. You don’t arrive at your host’s door empty-handed. Mom said so. I was browsing Etsy when I stumbled upon a woodworking site,TheWoodGrainGallery, owned and operated by Johanna and Brian Haack. Here you can find wood carvings and engravings of all kinds. Have something particular in mind? They’ll do their best to accommodate you.

Not only do the make corzetti but they’ll custom make a stamp for you. Wishing to bring something unique to my Zia, I contacted the wood shop with my design. Within hours I received a mock-up to approve. Once they received my approval, the custom stamps — I ordered 2 — were in my hands within days and I couldn’t be more pleased.

S. Marino Coat of Arms

Source: Wikipedia

So what design did I choose? Well, I did some checking and my family crest changed with each website I queried, leaving me doubt the veracity of each.  Besides, isn’t the fact that our ancestors survived far more important than whether they brought a coat of arms with them?  So, after that reality check, I looked to San Marino for inspiration. At the very center of the tiny republic, atop Monte Titano, is a fortress which contains 3 main towers. These towers are represented in the Republic’s coat of arms. I could think of no better design for our corzetti stamps than this coat of arms.

Each stamp has 2 parts that perform the 3 functions needed to create the pasta disks. The base is two-sided. One is used to create the round pasta disks and the other creates the design on their backside. The remaining part is the actual stamp. These 2 pieces will ensure that every pasta disk is identical and imprinted on both sides. This is important because the raised patterns will help your sauce cling to each pasta disk. When it comes to pasta, the Italians have thought of everything!

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Corzetti Stamp 1

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Today’s post is more tutorial than recipe. So, let’s get started. To begin, as I’ve done with almost all homemade pasta posts, make a batch of Mom’s Pasta Dough. Her recipe will produce about 1.5 pounds of dough but can easily be halved should you find that to be too much dough. By whatever means you prefer, roll the dough but not quite as thin as you would for, say, linguine. You want the sheets to be thick enough to see the imprint but not so thick that you’re eating pasta pancakes. (See Notes)

Spread the dough sheet across your work surface and, using the bottom of the stamp set, cut circles in the sheet. Pull away the excess and reserve. It can be combined with the remaining dough and re-rolled.

One at a time, place a dough circle on the other side of the stamp base and, using the stamp, press the dough circle. A pasta disk with both sides imprinted will result. Place on a lightly floured surface. Work quickly. The more the dough sheet dries, the harder it will be to imprint the design.

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(Click on any image to see the photos enlarged.)

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If you’re not going to cook them immediately, there are a few ways to store them. If you’re going to use them within an hour or two, cover them with a clean kitchen towel until needed. Cover and refrigerate them if you intend to cook them that evening. Longer than that, place them in a single layer of baking sheets and either freeze them or allow them to dry. Once frozen or completely dry, store in airtight containers. Return the frozen corzetti to the freezer.

Once made, the only question that remains is how to dress them. Well, I chose to dress my corzetti with Pesto Genovese. (When in Genoa …) You can just as easily dress your pasta with a meat sauce, brown butter sauce, or the traditional walnut sauce. I wouldn’t suggest a cream sauce, however, because that is better used to dress the ribbon pastas — i.e., fettuccine, and the like. Not so fast, however, if there are photos to be taken.

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Corzetti with Pesto

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Attempting to photograph the finished dish proved to be the hardest part of this post. Directly above, are photos of corzetti dressed with Pesto Genovese (l) and Pesto Trapanese (r). What little of the stamped imprint shown through the pesto was completely obliterated by the obligatory “sprinkling” of cheese. My third attempt, and the dish that was featured, is corzetti dressed with a sauce of cherry tomatoes quickly sautéed with garlic and anchovies in butter and olive oil, and seasoned with red pepper flakes. Best of all, the anchovies meant that I received a cheese dispensation and so none was used. Not only did the finished dish prove to be photogenic, it was damn tasty, too!

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Corzetti Pasta 6

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Notes

My pasta rollers are at their widest when set to 1. I’ve found that the best corzetti are made when the dough is rolled to no more than the 5 setting. More than that and the dough is too thin to create a good image from the stamp. Worse yet, in my experiments, disks cut too thin cracked and broke into pieces as they dried. Although you will get a better image with a setting of 4 or less, the pasta disks will be too thick, at least for my tastes. I’ve found a setting of 5 makes dough that is corzetti perfect.

There is no Bartolini walnut sauce recipe to draw upon for this recipe, so, I chose to use another. If you’re interested, there are many walnut sauce recipes on the web.

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Please note that I received no compensation of any form from TheWoodGrainGallery. I paid for the corzetti stamps before requesting permission to use their business’s name in this post.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Agnolotti Served X

It’s already been a year since I last shared directions for making a pasta. That post detailed how to make agnolotti using a filling that a very generous Sous Chef in Bologna shared with me. Since I’ve just returned from my trip to Italy, I thought now would be a good time to revisit that post.  You can read it just by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Soft Shell Crab Po' Boy Preview

Soft Shell Crab Po’ Boys

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99 thoughts on “Break Out the Pasta Machine! Today We’re Making Corzetti.

  1. Welcome back John! You have been missed! And what a fabulous tutorial: I certainly had never ‘met’ corzetti before and love the story of how the stamp came to be . . . OK . . . I better say no more as the historical teachings of the food during the Crusades call . . . but am certain zia Pina was in tears to receive such a perfect gift . . . 🙂 !]

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great to have you back, John! As always, you are brightening up my daily commute with your delicious recipes, interesting posts and heartfelt stories. I had never heard of corzetti before. It is a pity that most sauces will hide the design. I suppose you could also make cookies this way 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Stefan. Glad that I can make your commute a bit brighter. I hadn’t considered making cookies with the stamp. Perhaps a shortbread? Have to give it more thought. Then again, I don’t exactly need to be experimenting with cookie making. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy, Giovanna, and thanks. There are so many types of pasta in Italy and I love learning about a new one. I’d heard of corzetti some time ago but didn’t know where to get the stamp. It was just luck that I stumbled upon the wood shop.
      Have a good week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi John, let me add my welcome back, too. Great to know how to make these little pasta coins. I had bought some corzetti in Genoa and always wondered about the origins of the designs on them. You are right, however, the design gets muted in the cooking and then the cheese obliterates. Really like your cherry tomato-anchovy solution. And as Stefan remarks above, I do make cookies with similar stamps.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Toothsome”. That’s the word! Being the pasta cannot be rolled too thin, the pasta has a fantastic, “toothsome” texture. And thanks for the welcome. It’s good to be back. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Sally. I missed you all but waited until Zia’s memorial this past weekend. It felt “right” to get things going again. And what better way to do it then with a pasta post featuring a Zia? 🙂

      Like

  4. Welcome back! Glad the kitchens are open. 🙂 And what a recipe you’ve brought us! I’ve heard of this, but have never had it (nor seen it on a menu), and obviously have never made it. Sounds like such a fun dish, though! And not hard to make (just photograph!). Really good — thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, John, for the welcome. Like so many of the homemade pastas, these are repetitive in nature, though not so mindless as some. You cannot go on to making another until the first is completely formed. No assembly line-type of production here. I cannot imagine making them for a large dinner party. A kitchen staff sure would come in handy. 🙂

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  5. How wonderful to open up my email and find you back this morning. You’ve been missed!
    I love the history and tutorial. Will be passing along this recipe and your blog link to a friend who makes his own pasta.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Ruth. The Italians and their pasta is really something. My Dad claimed that he could tell whether pasta was hand or machine rolled on a wood or other surface. Never had the nerve to test him. Some things are better left alone. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Amanda. It amazes me that from such a simple dough, the Italians have created so many forms of pasta, many with their own method of serving or special sauce. Touring Italy is such an adventure for me. 🙂

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    • Thank you and it’s good to be back! I did enjoy making these but, I have to admit, it would be a different matter if I were to serve them for a dinner party. I guess it’s one of the benefits of being a member of a wealthy Genoese family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome back John! And what a lovely post to start back with. The stamp you made for Zia was such a great gift. It’s wonderful how you are honoring her by making this awesome pasta with her stamp. Lots of hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw, thank you, MJ. The stamp was a big hit with my San Marino family. What luck stumbling upon that Etsy site! As I mentioned earlier, I hope to get back there in a couple of years and this gift will be a hard one to top. 🙂

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  7. I”m so impressed with the beauty of these corzetti, John. I’ve never seen them plated before, and certainly never seen the beautiful wood stamp. How clever of you to have found the star on Etsy! I’m confident the gift will be a family treasure. I hope that everything about your trip was fabulous, and I’m sure it was. It’s so nice to have you back and I hope you’ll be sharing more from your trip as you find the time!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, Debra. It took a while but I got here!
      Yes, I thought it a lucky break to find the stamp on Etsy and my family all loved it. I’ve kind of set myself up for a big fail with next visit’s gift but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
      The trip was wonderful, especially spending the time with my nephew. He’s grown to be a fine young man and it was a pleasure showing him the sights. As for my family over there, they were every bit as welcoming and certifiably crazy as the last visit. They were just the tonic I needed and I’ve warned them that I’ll be back — hopefully with my niece. 🙂

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  8. G’day John, glad to have you back. I’ve learned something reading your post, though I have to say I think corzetti look very formal, pasta for a special occasion, to impress (pardon the pun) with a family crest no less.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good afternoon! I agree. I can imagine a fancy dinner party and the host serving these. Having made them for a dinner for 1, that kitchen staff must have stamped their little hearts out to make enough for a formal dinner. I would have served linguine. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Diane. I’d never been on Etsy before and consider this a very lucky find. It was very well-received, too. I had to make sure my Zia didn’t attempt to make them for our dinner while we were there. Unless you’ve got a good-sized kitchen staff, better to reserve corzetti for small dinner parties and certainly not a family gathering.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mar, and yes, she was very pleased with the gift. I’ve no idea what I might bring her next time I visit but I’ve got some time to figure that one out. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Michelle. Having made them, I think the impressive part is the size of the kitchen staff required to make enough corzetti for a dinner party. Those poor people probably had what we today consider carpal tunnel syndrome. That’s one heckuva lot of stamping! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh John what a wonderful post! We’ve missed you but understand you’ve had a lot going on. This is a completely new kind of pasta to me and now you’ve got me thinking….my parents have a painting or print of the Russo and also Ruggiero (Italían nonna’s name) coats of arms. These pasta disks would make an amazing gift for my parents! Lovely photos, I now fancy pasta for breakfast 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Tanya. It is very good to be back — well, it will be once I get caught up. 🙂 I had seen corzetti for sale in one of my early trips to Italy. (I always go into the pasta shops and look around.) I hadn’t seen the stamps, however, until I stumbled upon that wood shop on Etsy. I would think that you should be able to find them easily on your side of The Pond. If all else fails, you and Big Man could take a trip to Genoa with a little excursion to Cinque Terre. Do it for Mum and Dad. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I kicked myself for not buying a corzetti stamp when I was in the Cinque Terre. But now I can have one custom made! Thanks, John, for this lovely post, I hope you are doing okay.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, David, and thank you. I’m doing fine, as is my family. I’d be willing to bet that there are other wood workers that make the stamps but I’m very pleased with this site. They sent me a mock-up in no time and, once approved, they were delivered within days. Best of all, my ZIa loved it, as did the rest of the family. Score one for the visiting team! 🙂

      Like

  11. I read this the other day and have only now got around to posting a comment – sorry to be late. I love these little discs, they look quite easy to make, and that stamp is quite gorgeous. I am making pesto today too – in fact I had better get a wriggle on and get it made. I am also going to investigate this walnut sauce – it sounds nice! c

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey, Celi! These disks are easy to make but I fear that making enough for a dinner party would leave me with cramped hands. I was not at all pleased when one batch literally crumbled as it dried on baking sheets. I still served them to myself that night and that dinner was tasty but not at all like I had envisioned. 🙂

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  12. What an absolutely unique and generous gift for your hosts, I just LOVE this type of thing. The workmanship is also quite lovely. I have never heard of this type of pasta but it looks absolutely wonderful with the variety of dressings you applied, even if they weren’t overly photogenic.The walnut sauce sounds absolutely mouth watering. I have a similar item made from silicon and I’ve used it to imprint cookies, I may just have to try my hand at pasta!

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    • Thanks, Eva. I cannot believe I found a site that creates the stamps. It was pure luck — Google was not involved. I was browsing the site and came upon the stamps. They would be far easier and less time consuming to make if one could just stamp them on the work surface, rather than place them on the base. If you want your sauce to cling to the disks, however, both sides must be stamped — or so they say. Next time, I think I’ll just worry about stamping one side and hope my sauce is good enough that no one will care if it doesn’t stick to the back side that well. Speaking of sauces, ye, I agree. The recipes for walnut sauce that I viewed sound wonderful! I need to give one a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great to have you back, John! You opened your kitchen with this most interesting story. I had never heard of corzetti before, and do appreciate the length you went through to take your Zia P the most thoughtful gift. This carved wooden molds makes me think of Japanese and Iranian wooden molds used for making cookies. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Fae. I’m still trying to catch up but I’ll get there. Others in the Comments agree that the molds are much like cookie molds. I’m just happy to get cookies. I don’t question how they’re made. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hmmm, now I want a stamp, 2 actually – one for the G.O.’s family crest, and one for mine. They could be just the thing that persuades me to make my own pasta… as I know I really should.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Considering the size of the Italian community in and around Sidney, I’d be willing to bet that you can find a woodworker that makes these stamps. Maybe even a pasta making course or two. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  15. So lovely to see a new post. You and Zia are permentaly in our lifes. Your raviolli recipe is the one I repeat often and I have your book – Zia’s memory will live on in our house through you and your recipes. I have seen different people make these stamps and have longed after one of my own but have been unsure of who to buy from. I am now going to go and look at your recommendation because I know it has been well researched so no need for me to look further. M x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Maria,for leaving so thoughtful a comment. It pleased Zia no end to learn that someone was preparing one of our family recipes. She would have been impressed that you made our ravioli. Homemade ravioli is becoming a lost art. I’ve no qualms about referring your to that Etsy website. They were very easy people to work with and I’m sure you’ll be pleased. I’ll be anxious to see your corzetti. O do hope you’ll write a post about them. 🙂

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    • Hello, Katheryn. Yes, I’m glad to be back. I’m still far behind and it’s been a help having several recipes “in the can” and ready to go. I’ll be back in fullswing in no time — I hope! 😉

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  16. Etsy is a dangerous place to go, but what a treasure you found there. I’ve learned something new today for sure. What a beautiful pasta, though I tend to think for a large family this,would have taken all day. Maybe I need a personal chef!

    Liked by 2 people

    • This was truly a case of blind luck, if ever there was one, Gretchen. I had gone to Etsy thinking I might find something artisanal for my Zia in San Marino. I entered the wood site thinking I might find myself a cutting board. The rest is corzetti history. You’re right about needing a chef to make these for a dinner party. He had better have a nice sized staff, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So lovely…have you tried making pasta using spelt flour. Someday I would love to try my hand at making my own pasta 😊 welcome back! I have also recently returned after a little hiatus. Baby and new business just suck up the time in the most mysterious way!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a wonder you’ve time for blogging at all. You’re my hero! Really.
      I’ve considered using spelt flour to se if my GF friends can easily digest it but I’ve seen that spelt pasta dough is a bit tricky to use. One chef on television actually added regular flour to help his dough along. Well, as you can imagine, that just won’t due for my purposes. Still, I do want to give it a try.
      And thanks for the welcome back. You, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Betsy, for both the great comment and warm welcome. Zia did like the stamp, as did everyone at the table that evening. I did make sure that she knew that there were no strings attached. I didn’t want her trying to make the whole family a dinner of corzetti. She had already done far too much for us.
      I am glad to be back, though I need to get back into the rhythm. Being summer, it’s far too easy to let things slide until, like now, I’ve got an inbox that’s a disaster. I’ll get things tidied up and when I do, I’ll vow not to let it happen again — until next time. I am nothing if not consistent. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  18. A belated “welcome back”, John! Customized pasta stamps?? What a unique and special gift to bestow upon your Zia! I imagine she was tickled pink. 🙂 Love all the delicious sauce variations you offer here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nancy. Yes, the gift was not only appreciated but it was a completely unique gift. I don’t know if she’ll ever use it but it has earned a spot in her kitchen. What more could this nephew ask for? 🙂

      Like

  19. I’ve always enjoyed cherished family heirlooms and just wish that my family had more items from Italy. I’m glad to find out whee to purchase these an gift them to otter’s in my life. They are beautiful as is the past that is pressed within them! Thanks for sharing@

    Liked by 1 person

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