Saturday, September 24, 2011
Elyssa loves to cook and is outfitting her new kitchen with great cookware and utensils. I went along with her to pick out pots and pans at a kitchen store she heard about from a chef friend. I was forewarned: when you first walk into the store you're underwhelmed; it looks like many other run of the mill casalinghe (kitchen supply stores). Even after browsing a bit I still wasn't impressed, but the more we looked around the more I realized that this store was very well supplied with just about everything, including a vast assortment of the best cookware on the market. More on this later as the store merits its own blog post.
Owner Simonetta is a fountain of in-depth knowledge on every product this kitchen store sells. I recognized her immediately and we soon realized we knew each other from the Gambero Rosso three years ago when we were both professionally active with the company. In between selecting everything Elyssa needed I also picked up a few great things. I love making unusual pasta shapes and forms and am always on the lookout for new items. Simonetta sold me a tool to make corzetti, a disk shaped pasta with a giglio fiorentino design. So this morning the first thing I did was to make corzetti for lunch.
After making a smooth and elastic sfoglia by kneading the dough for a good five to ten minutes and then rolling it out thinly, I cut out as many small disks as possible. I then used the stamp to imprint each disk with the giglio fiorentino design.
I used some of the last cherry tomatoes from our garden to make a simple tomato sauce with olive oil and basil. Although this isn't the traditional sauce used for corzetti, a pasta originating from the Liguria region in northern Italy, it was a perfect marriage with the pasta. In Liguria pesto is the traditional sauce used with corzetti.
Corzetti don't always have a giglio fiorentino design; in Liguria one stamp features a coat of arms with a rampant lion. In addition to its decorative function the design also helps the sauce adhere to the pasta.
The Encyclopedia of Pasta, by Oretta Zanini de Vita and masterfully translated in to English by Maureen B. Fant, dedicates a two page description to corzetti, along with drawings of the corzetti and the corzetti-making tool.
Posted by Flavor of Italy at 7:17 PM