Corzetti Pasta with Genovese meat sauce (al tocco di carne)

Corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce.

Corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce (al tocco di carne) is a traditional recipe from Liguria, North-West Italy.  This recipe is super scrumptious for two reasons. Firstly the corzetti (also called croxetti) are divine tasty pasta medallions with beautiful designs stamped on them. Secondly, the rich and flavourful sauce doubles up as a pasta sauce and a pot roast main course.

Corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce

Corzetti al tocco di carne

In Genoa, the word ‘tocco’ means sauce or ‘sugo’ in standard Italian. This recipe is the most traditional way they make and serve meat sauce in Liguria. Unlike other pasta meat sauces or ragu, this is made with one piece of meat, usually beef. But, some people use veal instead.

Ingredients for corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce

One course or two?

The beef for this corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce is braised slowly in a delicious rich herby tomato, stock and wine sauce with porcini mushrooms. It is then removed from the sauce to be served as a main course, while the sauce is served with pasta as a first course or primo.

chopped vegetables in pot for corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce recipe

As I have mentioned in other posts, Italians often eat pasta as a first course, followed by a main course of meat or fish. However, the meat in this corzetti recipe can be shredded or chopped into small pieces and served with the pasta. This is the best idea if you prefer a one plate meal. Alternatively you can save it for another day and even freeze it. (Don’t forget to keep some sauce back to serve with the beef, if serving the meat separately).

Chopped vegetables and large pieces of beef for corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce

Medieval pasta!

Corzetti or croxetti are a type of pasta that dates back to the Middle Ages. The designs on these pasta medallions are usually made using a hand engraved wooden mold or stamp that has 2 designs engraved on it. (one for each face of the pasta). In the past, noble families had their family coat of arms stamped into the pasta! You can read more about this unusual pasta on my corzetti or croxetti post.

Beef and vegetables for corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce

If you can’t find or make corzetti yourself, this Genovese meat sauce is great with other types of short pasta, such as penne, orecchiette or rigatoni. It’s also really delicious with ricotta filled ravioli! Whichever way you serve it, I’m sure you and your guests will love it.

Ready meat and sauce in braising pot for corzetti with Genovese meat sauce

I’ve added this recipe to my list of go-to dishes to make when I’m entertaining because it’s so unique and yet easy to make and delicious to boot! Try it and you’ll definitely want to add it to your list too!

If you make this corzetti pasta recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out and if you liked it. So, please leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Buon appetito!

Corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce (al tocco di carne)

Save this recipe for later?

If you want to save this recipe for later, you can print it, bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest.

Pin for later.

Corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce

Other cook once eat twice pasta recipes.

  1. Orecchiette with braciole (beef rolls)
  2. Italian braised pork ribs with pasta
  3. Pasta with braised veal and onions
5 from 8 votes
Corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce (al tocco di carne)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins

This unique 2 in 1 braised beef pasta recipe from Liguria can be served with pasta and as a delicious pot roast.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Liguria, Northern Italy
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, braised beef, corzetti, Italian food, Italian recipe, ragu
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 400 g corzetti or croxetti pasta medallions (14oz) you can also use other pasta
  • 500 g lean beef (1lb) braising or stewing beef works well
  • 60 g dried porcini mushrooms (2oz) I used frozen and fresh are delicious too
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots washed and finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks washed and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and finely chopped
  • 500 g sauce tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (1lb) sauce tomatoes will need to be peeled. Cherry tomatoes can be left whole if very small
  • 1 small sprig rosemary chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup beef stock ( I used homemade)
  • 1 glass red wine (in Liguria they use Barbera)
  • 60 g Parmigiano cheese (2oz) grated
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. If using dried porcini, soak them in warm water for at least 30 mins, then squeeze the water out and chop them. 

  2. Chop the garlic, onion, celery and carrot finelyand sauté together in the olive oil in a frying pan, iron skillet or pot roast pan , add the meat and brown on all sides for 10 minutes.

  3. Add some choppped rosemary leaves and parsley and salt and pepper to taste then pour in the red wine and cook on a high heat until the alcohol evaporates.

  4. Cut the peeled tomatoes into cubes or halves (small cherry tomatoes can be left whole) add them to the meat with the porcini mushrooms, bay leaves and half a cup of beef stock. Continue cooking over a low heat, half-covered, for at least 1 hour. When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the sauce and remove the bay leaves.

  5. While the meat is cooking. Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet.

  6. Drain the pasta and plate it. Season first with some grated Parmesan and add some sauce. Serve with some more chopped parsley and extra cheese if required. The meat can be sliced and served as a main course or shredded and added to the pasta sauce.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can be used as 2 courses or meals if you keep the meat aside and serve it separately.

Traditionally, Genovese meat sauce is served with crozetti but you can use other types of short pasta or ricotta filled ravioli.

Want to know more about my life in Italy? Go to the homepage and subscribe to my newsletter. New subscribers get a free recipe e-book too!

Corzetti pasta with Genovese meat sauce

You May Also Like


  • Avatar
    December 3, 2018 3:41 am

    I love the stamped pasta with the simplicity of this dish! This really is a wonderful, rich and tasty comfort food!

  • Avatar
    Chichi Uguru
    December 3, 2018 3:00 am

    That meat sauce is oh my yum!! I haven’t tried this kind of pasta before. Would be trying it out.

  • Avatar
    Lisa Bryan
    December 3, 2018 1:46 am

    Wow – I’ve never heard of this pasta before but it looks amazing and so unique! Almost too pretty to eat (almost). 😉

  • Avatar
    December 3, 2018 1:04 am

    Such beautiful pasta I’ve never tried before! This looks like a delicious recipe!

  • Avatar
    December 2, 2018 11:46 pm

    I am now on a mission to make corzetti pasta! And that meat sauce just looks to DIE for. This is my kind of comfort food and absolutely the food I cannot live without. I’d happily say goodbye to chocolate but I could never say goodbye to pasta!

  • Avatar
    Alina | Cooking Journey Blog
    December 2, 2018 11:15 pm

    Such a good dinner idea! I saw corzetti pasta in store, but didn’t know what to do with it. Great step by step photo instructions!

  • Avatar
    Pam Greer
    April 24, 2018 7:42 pm

    This meat sauce sounds amazing! I have never heard of corzetti pasta before! I hope I can find some, I’d love to try it.

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:50 am

      Thank you Pam! Yes this meat sauce is melt in your mouth good. I love the fact that it can be used for 2 dishes. I think you can find corzetti in US. I know Eataly sells it! Hugs from Verona Jacqui

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2018 3:56 pm

    This sauce looks amazing! I love the story of the pasta! What is normally stamped on them now? I wish we could find them in the states!

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:54 am

      Thanks Beth, yes this sauce is really delicious. Nowadays, corzetti are stamped with different designs such as National emblems, the pasta makers trademark and even trees or boats. It’s also possible to have a corzetti stamp made to your own design! I know that Eataly sell corzetti, so I think you can find it in US. Love from Verona Jacqui

      • Avatar
        robert .
        February 14, 2020 11:54 pm

        There is a site on Etsy which sells corzetti and also dies to make your own!! Eataly also sells them in a package, as does yummy bazaar.

  • Avatar
    Corina Blum
    April 24, 2018 10:24 am

    This pasta sounds so rich and delicious! I have never seen pasta with a stamp on it before and I love the idea of noble families having their own stamps on their pasta in the past – It just shows how seriously they took their pasta!

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:56 am

      Thanks Corina! I love this dish both for the rich and tasty 2 in 1 sauce and the use of a rather unique historical pasta! All the best from Verona. Jacqui

Leave a Reply