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Sardinian Culurgiones (Stuffed Pasta Recipe)

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Culurgiones are traditional Sardinian stuffed pasta filled with potato, pecorino cheese, and mint from the Ogliastra region of Sardinia, shaped into wheat spikes.

Culurgiones are among the classics of Sardinian cuisine, steeped in tradition spanning many years. They’re a type of fresh pasta filled with other ingredients, reminiscent of ravioli but with a distinct shape and flavor.

Made from simple local ingredients such as grated pecorino cheese, mashed potatoes, and mint leaves, this stuffed pasta from Sardinia is often served with homemade simple tomato sauces made of locally grown ripe tomatoes.

I will guide you through easy steps so you can experience a taste of Sardinia while making them in your own kitchen.

Tradition behind culurgiones pasta

Tradition behind culurgiones pasta

These delicious dumplings are so unique in Sardinia that they earned a special status called PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) from the EU in 2015. 

This culurgiones recipe originates from Ogliastra, a region located in Central Sardinia. However, several variants are from other regions of Italy, such as Ulassai, Jerzu, Villagrande Strisaili, Osini, and Lotzorai. In the Barbagia region, for example, they serve them with pork chops and sauces, while in the Campidano area, they serve them with fresh sheep or goat ricotta cheese, egg, and saffron.

Culurgiones, also called culurxonis, culurgionis, or culingionis, are not just food; they can also be given as gifts. They were made for special occasions like Thanksgiving after the wheat harvest to remember and honor the “Day of the Dead in November.

The typical closure of culurgiones, spighitta, represents the wheat symbol, which is used to bring luck for the new agricultural year at the end of August. According to tradition, they were also seen as charms to protect families from mourning. 

How to make Sardinian Culurgiones

Why you’ll love this recipe from Sardinia

Follow the concept of longevity—This vegetarian homemade pasta dish with potato filling is delicious and nutritious. Made from simple, natural ingredients, it offers a wholesome meal option that follows the concept of longevity.

plant-based – wheat flour, semolina, and a potato filling with cheese, make it a healthy vegetarian meal option

Rich in tradition -rich culinary heritage of Sardinia, passed down through generations. You can experience the simple Sardinia cucina italiana in your kitchen. 

Ingredients

Stuffed Pasta Ingredients and Substitutions

All ingredients required in this recipe are whole foods.

Semolina flour

Made from durum wheat, semolina is the only flour required to make this pasta dough. When closing the filling, it is easy to turn it into wheat spikes.

OIlve Oil

to create a smoother and more elastic dough, I am adding one tablespoon of olive oil to the dough, but is optional 

Red potatoes

Red potatoes are preferred for the filling because they are less watery. It’s also best not to peel them before cooking. However, if you can’t find red potatoes, you can still use white potatoes as an alternative.

Red potatoes are better for the filling due to their lower water content. You don’t need to peel them before cooking. However, white floury potatoes are also a good alternative if you don’t have red potatoes.

Tips to make perfect Culurgiones

Pecorino Sardo Cheese

Sardinian Pecorino is the local cheese made from sheep’s milk in the region of Sardinia, Italy. Try to get an aged pecorino for this recipe.

Fresh mint leaves

They are a staple in this dish, and I don’t recommend replacing them with other herbs, but you can use a dried substitute if you don’t have fresh.

Garlic

garlic adds its specific taste and medicinal benefits, too; you can also use garlic flavored Olive oil.

Tomato sauce

Culurgiones are traditionally served with simple homemade tomato sauce. To cook the sauce, heat the pan with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh tomatoes, or passata and season with salt and black pepper. dish. Alternatively, you can serve it with sage infused oil or butter.

Stuffed Pasta Ingredients and Substitutions

How to make Sardinian Culurgiones

First step: Cook the potatoes

Don’t peel them; place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and boil them until fork tender.  

Second step: Make the dough

Combine the semolina flour, water, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until a dough forms. Transfer it to a clean table and knead it for about 10 minutes to achieve a smooth and elastic consistency. Like any pasta making, add water if the dough seems crumbly. Cover the dough with a damp towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Tradition behind culurgiones pasta

Third step: Prepare the mashed potato filling

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Drain the boiled potatoes and let them cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and mash them in a bowl using the masher or fork. Add the grated Pecorino Sardo cheese, one clove of minced garlic, olive oil, and chopped mint leaves. Season with salt and pepper and mix until well combined.

Fourth step: Roll out the dough

After the dough has rested, unwrap it and use a rolling pin to roll it out on a well-floured surface until to about 1mm thickness. You can also use a pasta machine if you have one.

Why you'll love this recipe from Sardinia

Fifth step: make culurgiones

 Use a round cutter or a glass to cut out circles of dough. 

Put a small amount of filling in the center of each round, then fold and pinch the base to seal it on one side. Continue pinching and folding the edges to seal the top of the dumpling, working like you would braid hair, starting on one side and then the other until you reach the opposite side. Place the completed culurgiones on a floured tray as you work. The final culurgiones should be between 2-4 inches in length and between 1-2 inches in width.

It requires some practice. You can also fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, then pinch the edges together to seal tightly. Use your fingers or a fork to crimp the edges decoratively.

Sixth step: Cook the culurgiones

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add the culurgiones to the boiling water, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pot. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until they float to the surface and are cooked through.

Remove the culurgiones from the water with a slotted spoon (or you may want to use a more sophisticated kitchen gadget) and drain them briefly. If desired, serve hot with your favorite tomato sauce and additional grated Pecorino Sardo cheese. Enjoy your homemade culurgiones!

Cook the culurgiones

Tips to make perfect Culurgiones

Press and crimp the edges of culurgiones tightly with your fingers to prevent the filling from leaking out during cooking.

Use fresh pecorino cheese the pre grated variety is never as good as the whole.

Make Sardinian Culurgiones
Stuffed Pasta Recipe

Make Sardinian Culurgiones ( Stuffed Pasta Recipe)

Culurgiones are traditional Sardinian stuffed pasta filled with potato, pecorino cheese, and mint from the Ogliastra region of Sardinia, shaped into wheat spikes.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 day 30 minutes
30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Blue Zone Recipes, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 273 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 300 grams semolina flour
  • 150 grams room temperature water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 500 g of red potatoes
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 70 g of Pecorino Sardo grated
  • 8 mint leaves finely chopped
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Don’t peel them; place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and boil them until fork tender.
  • Combine the semolina flour, water, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until a dough forms. Transfer it to a clean table and knead it for about 10 minutes to achieve a smooth and elastic consistency. Like any pasta making, add water if the dough seems crumbly. Cover the dough with a damp towel and rest for 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Drain the boiled potatoes and let them cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and mash them in a bowl using the masher or fork. Add the grated Pecorino Sardo cheese, one clove of minced garlic, olive oil, and chopped mint leaves. Season with salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
  • After the dough has rested, unwrap it and use a rolling pin to roll it out on a well-floured surface until to about 1mm thickness. You can also use a pasta machine if you have one.
  • Use a round cutter or a glass to cut out circles of dough.
  • Put a small amount of filling in the center of each round, then fold and pinch the base to seal it on one side. Continue pinching and folding the edges to seal the top of the dumpling, working like you would braid hair, starting on one side and then the other until you reach the opposite side. Place the completed culurgiones on a floured tray as you work. The final culurgiones should be between 2-4 inches in length and between 1-2 inches in width.
  • It requires some practice, you can also just fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, then pinch the edges together to seal tightly. Use your fingers or a fork to crimp the edges decoratively.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add the culurgiones to the boiling water, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pot. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until they float to the surface and are cooked through.
  • Remove the culurgiones from the water with a slotted spoon and drain them briefly. If desired, serve hot with your favorite tomato sauce and additional grated Pecorino Sardo cheese. Enjoy your homemade culurgiones!

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 10gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 154mgFiber: 3gSugar: 0.01gVitamin A: 85IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 3mg
Keyword culurgiones, Sardinia Blue Zone, Stuffed Pasta Recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Vladka on May 27th, 2024

6 Comments on “Sardinian Culurgiones (Stuffed Pasta Recipe)”

  1. Culurgiones? Never heard of that pasta shape, but I made it and certainly deserves podium🙂

    Reply
  2. I really planned a day to cook this recipe. I was curious after I tasted one in an Italian Restaurant we dined in. I love my work! Tasted really great like the one from the resto, thank you, Glad I found this recipe.

    Reply
  3. I loved how the flavors of the mint and pecorino cheese infused into the potato filling. It added a refreshing and savory element to the dish.

    Reply
  4. It was my first time making this and I really loved it! Can’t wait to try this again!

    Reply
  5. I did it! I made homemade pasta! The idea of this Culurgiones recipe intimidated me a little as I was getting started but it ended up being so easy to follow and the process was simple. Plus, potatoes and cheese make a perfect “stuffing” for the pasta. So delicious! Now I’m excited to make even more homemade pasta. Thank you!

    Reply
5 from 6 votes

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