Culurgiones Balfanzones – Sardinian ravioli with potato and mint filling
The other day our friend Torsten invited us to a short vacation in Sardinia. We did not take long: quickly packed the Scarpe Estive and jetted with him to Cagliari …
There we could thank Torsten directly on the spot with a little thank you and let Dario (fantastico) teach us in a cooking class how to make the Sardinian speciality
is made. Delizioso e complicato.
The preparation of the dough and the filling does not yet pose too great a challenge for the ambitious amateur chef – assuming a pasta machine. But to form the culurgiones (the pasta dough encases the potato paste) and then to seal the little beasts perfectly, that … requires either talent, strong nerves or courage to – uh – original …
But those who rise to the challenge will be rewarded with a taste explosion that is second to none.
And: let’s face it “The eye eats with …”
Pah! Who came up with this nonsense?
Whether beautiful – or only “seemingly beautiful” ...
Dear Torsten B. – for your 50th birthday we dedicate this great recipe to you:
And thanks again for your great invitation.
Bring a little patience, some succeed pronto, others need the duration of an Italian opera for it.
This takes about 4 min. Anyone who takes longer to do this has really done something wrong.
for 2 persons
" Culurgiones d'Ogliastra ...
… or culurgionis are a great form of stuffed pasta. Originally they come from the Ogliastra, a mountainous region in the east of Sardinia. The special thing about them is their filling: traditionally they are filled with a creamy potato paste, which here in Germany – for lack of local specialties – we mix with a young Pecorino Sardo – or also gladly with Pecorino Sardo Dolce – and Feta. Vigorously seasoned with garlic, olive oil and mint, the delicious potato pamp then gets the needed kick.
As is so often the case in domestic kitchens, recipes vary in Sardinia, of course. Instead of the fresh, slightly acid sheep’s cheese appreciated in the Ogliastras, like
Viscidu | Casu Armungiau | Case e Fidda | etc.
elsewhere is used a mixture of young and aged pecorino(such and maturo). In some places goat cheese is added – the ingredients vary from village to village.
The Culurgiones d’Ogliastra have been granted the right by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture to bear the IGP designation – indicazione geografica protetta – as a special protected designation of origin. The ministry has also taken the trouble to publish detailed rules regarding manufacturing – for those interested, just click here.
As said before:
The production of the Culurgiones is really not very simple.
Once you get the hang of it, you can make beautiful specimens. I’ve never really been able to do that.
Here are four short videos that show you how to do it.
And – if you also happen to be in Cagliari, here you can book Dario’s great Culurgiones d’Ogliastra cooking class.
- 300 g floury potatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 60 g Pecorino hard cheese (Fiore Sardo is best)
- 40 g feta
(Even better – if you get it – Viscidu/Case or Fitta Case Armungia).
- 8 leaves fresh mint
- 300 g durum wheat semolina
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- approx. 120 ml water (warm)
- some normal flour
Special kitchen appliances
- Pasta machine
- round cookie cutter (approx. 8cm)
Culurgiones – The filling.
Boil the potatoes with the skinboil.
Drain, peel, place in a bowl and mash the still hot potatoes with a fork or masher.
Chop the garlic and add to the mashed potatoes.
Chop the mint and mix in.
Grate the pecorino, add the feta directly to the mashed potatoes with a grater.
TIP: Freeze feta beforehand, so it is easier to grate later.
Knead with your hands and season to taste.
Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Culurgiones – The dough.
Mix the durum wheat semolina with the salt.
Press a well in the center and pour in a little warm water.
Knead by hand and keep adding a little water until you get an elastic, smooth ball. Der dough should now no longer stick. If it has become too moist, simply add some durum wheat semolina.
Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
You can also prepare the filling and dough the day before and set aside in an airtight container. Remember to remove both from the refrigerator in time for further processing the following day to bring the filling and dough back to room temperature.
Culurgiones – The molding.
Roll out dough with a pasta machine on a well-floured work surface to about 1 mm thickness.
Cut out circles. For example, with a rice ring. But an ordinary can will do just as well.
Place a little filling in the center of the circle and fold.
Squeeze the dough one end. Then press the opposite ends of the dough a little bit inside.
Now press together along the round edge alternately from the left and from the right: It is best to proceed
proceed as with braiding, first on one side and then on the other.
Then “seal” – that’s really what it means: seal, because water must not penetrate during cooking – by pressing the dough together and twisting a small cord. It may not be as complicated as I describe it here 🙂
But please – see for yourself – here Dario shows us how easy it actually is …
From my side: Reverent bow and thunderous applause.
I will NEVER be able to do it that way.
If you also don’t want to succeed right away …
You don’t have to.
You can also form normal ravioli – or whatever – in the end it tastes quite the same 🙂
Reasonably thin the dough coating you should succeed, then everything will be fine …
Place your finished culurgiones – or whatever you’ve managed to make – on a floured tray.
Culurgiones – The cooking.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Carefully add Culurgiones to the water.
In total, our
a. Cook for 4 minutes.
As a rule of thumb, if you float on top, then cook for another 2 minutes.