Recipe for Casunziei: Beet-Filled Ravioli from the Dolomites

March 18, 2022  |  By Peg Kern
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The town of Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy.One of the more unique recipes for ravioli that you will find are Casunziei ampezzani, named for the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo in Dolomites of the Veneto region. This half-moon pasta can be filled with a variety of seasonal produce, but is most often filled with a mix of beetroot and potato, making it very colorful. It is served dressed with a butter and poppy seeds, giving it a very distinct look! 

Many recipes in English add ricotta cheese to the filling, but here we’ve adapted the Italian recipes we know to keep the filling vegetable-forward.  

CasunzieiTypical casunziei ravioli from Italy.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Cook method: Boil

A pile of beets at the vegetable market.Ingredients:

  • 200 gr all purpose flour (or “00” flour if you can find it)
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • water, as needed
  • 200 gr red beets, boiled and peeled
  • 80 gr white turnip, boiled and peeled
  • 120 gr potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • salt to taste
  • 100 gr butter
  • 100 gr Grana Padano cheese (or parmesean)
  • poppy seeds, to taste

Potatoes from the garden.Preparation:

1. First boil the beets, turnips, and potatoes. Peel and mash them separately either with a potato masher, a ricer, or a food mill.

2. To make the pasta, place the flour on a the counter or in a bowl, make a well in the center to add the egg, then work the egg into the flour until a dough forms, adding a bit of water as necessary. Then knead the dough until it is smooth and supple. (You can also mix the ingredients in a food processor, but you will still need to knead the dough by hand to get the proper texture).

Turnips at market.3. Let the dough rest 30 minutes while you make the filling.

4. Mix the vegetables together and enough salt to taste.

5. Roll the pasta our by hand or with a pasta machine until it is very thin. Then use a ravioli cutter or biscuit cutter to make 8 cm rounds.

6. Fill each round with about 1 tbsp filling, being careful not to overfill. Use a finger dipped in water to wet the edges, then fold the raviolo over to form a half-moon shape. Seal with a fork, crimping the edges.

The Dolomite mountains in Italy.7. Boil the casunziei in salted water for 3-5 minutes, or until they float.

8. Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the cooked casunziei and a spoonful of poppy seed. Sprinkle the cheese over the top to serve.

You can make the casunziei ahead of time by freezing them in one layer on a baking sheet, then placing them in a plastic bag until ready to use. Then boil them (without thawing them) and proceed as per the recipe.

We hope you enjoy!

By Peg Kern

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