Corzetti or Croxetti Pasta from Liguria.

Corzetti or Croxetti Pasta from Liguria.

Corzetti or croxetti is a unique kind of pasta from Liguria, in North-west Italy. This pasta originated in Liguria. However, they also eat it just across the border with Piedmont, in Alessandria province and in Emilia-Romagna, where it is called crosetti.  

Dried Corzetti or Croxetti pasta from Liguria.

2 types of Corzetti or Croxetti.

Actually, there are two types of corzetti or croxetti in Liguria. One type comes from the Val Polcevera, a valley that runs from the region’s capital Genova up into the mountains behind the city. Known as corzetti valpolceveraschi, this pasta is circles of pasta dough which are twisted into an ‘8’shape. The other type of corzetti is flat round pasta medallions embossed with an emblem or design. Corzetti which have been ‘printed’ are called corzétti stanpæ or corzetti del Levante.This type of corzetti originated in the Varese Ligure area in the province of Spezia.

Stamped or printed corzetti.

In Italian, corzetti del Levante are described as ‘printed’ or ‘stamped’ because the decoration on these small circles of pasta is done with a wooden mold or stamp with 2 designs carved into it (one for each side of the pasta medallion). Some believe that the reason for the designs was to help the sauce cling better to the pasta.

Corzetti or Croxetti pasta stamps
Corzetti or Croxetti pasta stamps (photo by kind permission of Florentine Touch, Tuscany)

Even today, there are some artisan shops in the historical center of Genoa where there are craftsmen who still make these molds. In addition to the handicraft production, there is also an industrial production of corzetti pasta which is normally carried out using ravioli machines with bronze dies.

florentine touch corzetti or cruxetti stamps
Corzetti or cruxetti stamps from Florentine Touch, Tuscany

A little corzetti or croxetti history.

Historically, this pasta dates back to the Middle Ages. Some food historians believe the name derives from the crozetto a 14th century Genoan coin. Both the crozetto and corzetti pasta medallions traditionally had a cross on one side. So, both names most probably also come from the Latin word ‘crux’ meaning cross.

During the Renaissance, noble families had their cooks stamp the pasta circles with a mold that depicted their coat of arms. This mold was handed down from generation to generation and was a gift that a father-in-law made to his daughter-in-law at the time of her wedding.

Dried Corzetti or Croxetti pasta from Liguria

Corzetti as wedding favours!

Nowadays, the noble coat of arms have been replaced by other designs. Handmade corzetti or croxetti usually have a different design on each side of the pasta medallion. One side has a simple design and the other a more intricate one.The designs can be a cross, a regional coat of arms or the pasta maker’s trademark. More modern designs such as a palm trees or a sailboat or fruit are also popular. In addition, it is traditional to give this pasta as wedding favours or to mark a special occasion. When this happens, the family will order the mold or stamp with the design of their choice and then make the pasta at home! These designs often include the initials of the newly-weds.

Corzetti or Croxetti pasta with tocco di carne genovese sauce
Corzetti or Croxetti pasta with tocco di carne genovese sauce

I have long wanted to try this pasta and even ordered some corzetti stamps online. Unfortunately, my stamps got lost when we did some renovation work in our house and I haven’t been able to find them. Recently, a friend gave me 2 packets of dried corzetti. I served the first one in a Ligurian recipe called ‘al tocco di carne’, meaning meat sauce. Tocco is the local dialect word for sauce. This very tasty recipe involves slow cooking a piece of beef in a tomato, wine and stock sauce with porcini mushrooms. The sauce is then served with the corzetti and the beef eaten separately as a main course! It was delicious! As was the pasta.

Corzetti or Croxetti pasta stamp
Corzetti or Croxetti pasta stamp from Florentine Touch, Tuscany

Traditional corzetti or croxetti recipes.

Anther typical and very traditional Ligurian recipe for corzetti or croxetti is with pesto genovese, potatoes and green beans. In Liguria, you can also find this pasta eaten with a walnut or pine nut sauce, a mushroom sauce called tocco dei funzi or a light cream sauce. Corzetti are also often served very simply with olive oil, pine nuts and fresh marjoram. I am planning to order some more corzetti stamps because I am dying to make this pasta myself.

corzetti pasta Liguria with pesto, potatoes and green beans
Corzetti pasta Liguria with pesto, potatoes and green beans

If you’d like to watch corzetti being made, check out the video below from Pasta Grannies. Also, both corzetti or croxetti pasta and the wooden pasta stamps are for sale online, even outside of Italy. I am planning to buy mine from a family run company of woodcarvers in Tuscany called Florentine touch. They make beautiful corzetti stamps and ship overseas too! In fact, I’m even thinking of ordering a stamp with The Pasta Project engraved in it!

So, why not give this pasta a try or buy a stamp and make it yourself?

Recipes with corzetti pasta on The Pasta Project

  1. Corzetti al tocco di carne
  2. Corzetti with pesto genovese, potatoes and beans
Corzetti or Croxetti pasta with genovese sauce 'tocco di carne'
Croxetti pasta with genovese sauce ‘tocco di carne’

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21 Comments

  • Chef Mireille
    August 28, 2018 7:31 pm

    these look so pretty – I love learning all about the different regional styles or pasta you show us

  • Stephanie Simmons
    August 26, 2018 3:32 am

    I’ve never seen pasta like this! It kind of reminds me of communion wafers, haha! The molds used to make it look lovely! Thanks for sharing the history of this cool pasta 🙂

    • Jacqui
      August 28, 2018 3:17 pm

      I’m happy you found this post interesting Stephanie! It’s true this pasta looks like communion wafers! I hadn’t thought of that!

  • Stacy Streuli
    August 25, 2018 11:32 am

    I love this – I’ve been to Liguria 3 times but never had these! We adore the Trofi pasta with Ligurian/Genovese pesto though 🙂 will be on the lookout for these on our next visit!

    • Jacqui
      August 28, 2018 3:19 pm

      I’m sure you’ll find this pasta next time you are in Liguria Stacy! You should also look out for a corzetti stamp to be able to make it at home too!

  • Adriana Lopez Martin
    August 24, 2018 6:18 pm

    Such an art to make corzetti and so beautiful. Have never seen this pasta in the United States I wish I coudl try it. All yoru options look spectacular.

    • Jacqui
      August 28, 2018 3:20 pm

      Thanks so much Adriana! I don’t know if this pasta is sold in US but maybe it can be bought online. You can definitely buy a corzetti stamp online, to make your own!

  • Linda
    August 24, 2018 6:15 am

    Wow! This is so cool! I want to try this pasta, or even better…stamp it with my own logo.

    • Jacqui
      August 28, 2018 3:20 pm

      Your own logo would be very cool Linda! I have been thinking of doing the same!

  • Vanessa
    August 23, 2018 5:32 am

    beautiful! I’ve never seen this kind of pasta before. A lot of creative dishes can be made from Corzetti pasta.

    • Jacqui
      August 28, 2018 3:21 pm

      Thank you Vanessa. I’m happy you like this pasta. Yes it can be used in a lot of delicious dishes!

  • Tara
    August 22, 2018 11:17 pm

    That’s really interesting to hear the history of that type of pasta. I just got married recently and now I want to order a stamp with our initials : ) The meat sauce looks perfect for once the weather gets colder! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Jacqui
      August 28, 2018 3:23 pm

      A stamp with your initials would be so romantic Tara! The meat sauce recipe is really good and can be served with other pasta of course!

  • Gloria
    August 22, 2018 8:58 pm

    I am such a pasta lover. I have NEVER seen this before. What a presentation this would make for dinner guests. I will have to visit some stores to see if I can find this.

  • dikla farnces
    August 22, 2018 8:28 pm

    This is so cool and pretty! The Potato Green beans really got my attention!
    I knew that pasta goes beyond angel hair spaghetti but no idea how much more there is to it!
    Very cool

  • Michelle
    August 22, 2018 5:05 pm

    I have literally never heard of this and now I want to make it asap!

  • Kelly Anthony
    August 22, 2018 3:48 pm

    I have never seen or heard of this type of pasta. I love learning new things especially when it comes to new food. Thanks for sharing all the good info.

  • Amanda
    August 22, 2018 12:42 am

    Oh, wow. I’ve never even heard of this kind of pasta. As a huge pasta lover, I clearly need to fix that. Looks delicious!

  • Stine Mari
    August 21, 2018 10:06 pm

    Wow this really adds a special flare to pasta dishes! I have never seen anything like it before, that’s so interesting!

  • Suzanne
    August 20, 2018 3:36 am

    I really enjoyed your piece on corzetti stanpae. I am headed to the Cinque Terra and will be sure to try some there! Loved the Pasta Grannies video, too!
    Thank you!

    • Jacqui
      August 20, 2018 11:57 pm

      Thanks so much Suzanne! I’m thrilled you like this post. There are so many interesting and delicious types of pasta here in Italy and I love discovering them and sharing the history and recipes with others. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Cinque Terra! I hope you get to try some corzetti there and perhaps even buy a corzetti stamp to make your own at home! All the best from Verona!

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