Casunziei ampezzani (beetroot and potato ravioli from Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the Dolomites)

Winter, mountain, robust eating from the Italian Dolomites. The color of the beetroot filling is stunning too, which does help in these rather lugubrious days . Austro-Hungarian influences, generous hand with butter and cheese, unusual ingredients (poppy seeds! – Italian cousin never stops to amaze me). This is a gorgeous pasta dish.

Casunziei ampezzani (beetroot and potato ravioli from Cortina d’Ampezzo)
6 portions

For the pasta dough:
360g 00 flour or plain flour
40g fine wholemeal flour (you can use all white flour, if you like it)
4 eggs, well beaten

The filling:
300g boiling potatoes
500g beetroot
a knob of butter
a couple of tablespoons of unflavoured, dry breadcrumbs
1 egg
grated Parmigiano

To dress the ravioli
generous butter
a couple of tablespoons of toasted poppy seeds
grated Parmigiano


Roast the beetroots until tender (wrap them in foil for better roasting).
Peel them and puré them in a food processor.
Steam or roast the potatoes in their jacket. Peel them and pure them with a potato ricer or mash them with a fork.
Combine the two purés.
Melt the butter, add the breadcrumbs and toast them for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable purès and  dry them out for a few minutes, stirring often.
Transfer this mix into a bowl and add the egg and the Parmigiano. Check for salt and pepper: Cool completely. This filling can be prepared up to a couple of days in advance.

Make the pasta dough in the usual way. The dough is rolled through the pasta machine until the last before the last notch.
Make the casunziei using a round cutter or a glass.
The borders should be damp (use a brush or yours fingers)
They are half-moon shaped and crimped to seal them.
Lay them on a floured towel and do not make them too long in advance.

Cook them in salted water and dress them with a very generous amount of melted butter and poppy seeds. Pass the Parmigiano around. Black pepper.

I have made these casunziei both with already cooked beetroots and with raw ones (that I then roasted): both versions are good but roasting your own beets games up the dish.



17 thoughts on “Casunziei ampezzani (beetroot and potato ravioli from Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the Dolomites)

  1. Sembrano molto buoni. Non li ho mai provati ma da qualche tempo ci sto pensando a provarli 🙂 il nome ricorda i casoncelli/casonsei bresciani/bergamaschi delle mie zone, ma ovviamente il ripieno è molto diverso. In Italia come ci si sposta di pochi chilometri la cucina regionale cambia parecchio. Il bello del nostro paese 🙂


    1. Ciao graziano..grazie:io ero rimasto colpito innanzitutto dal nome, che appunto associabo solo a quelli btesciani e bergamaschi, e poi anche dal ripieno che si rivelò ottima sorpresa…certo ora si va incontro alla primavera e forse sono un pochino fuori stagione ma segnali per l’anno prossimo (detto ciò qui a londra ancora freddo e tempo brutto, quasi quasi…) stefano

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great combo, I love beetroot, potatoes and pasta. Probably very filling too? Thanks for sharing. I have a poetry blog here on WordPress and today’s poem is about a hike in the Dolomites in case you have time to look? Wishing you a good afternoon, Sam 🙂


    1. Apologies for the late reply. Sam I did not find this dish outrageously filling: pleasantly filling 🙂
      If u love potatoes and beetroots, I would definitely have a go at this dish… it is rather unusual (for Italian standards) and delicious. ciao, stefano


  3. These do look delicious! And very Mitteleuropa. Enough that I might actually try these, notwithstanding my aversion to beets. (It’s actually the only food ingredient I didn’t like as a kid.) But what with all the other flavors going on—not to mention the butter—I bet I’d enjoy these.


    1. … er… yes… with all that butter and cheese.. the beets play almost secondary fiddle… which is not really true but the beet flavor is kept at bay by all the other ingredients

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is my kinda pasta dish. Beets and potatoes are a mainstay here, so I see a future for this one. I would of never of thought of using the poppy seeds, what a great idea. Thanks for the inspiration.


    1. ciao Ron… I had never used poppy seeds myself, in an Italian dish. I made this pasta dish few times and I increased the poppy seeds each time… talking about beetroot: I have eyed a gorgeous sounding beet gratin (with pistachios) on Serious Eats – it looks really something! stefano


  5. These look Stefano! So simple and beautiful. I am working on creating a dish to celebrate Mark’s 65th birthday… homemade beetroot pasta (fettuccine-like) with a citrus-ginger sauce and seared scallops. I know it’s not traditional, but by test recipes have been really good! Still fiddling with the sauce.

    I hope you guys have a great holiday – are you enjoying all the beautiful lights in London? We are keeping things very quiet here… both of us need the rest. The University closes down for the entire week between Christmas and the New Year.

    Have a good one!


    1. ciao david
      we r very quiet too here. some movies, some good food (but not much, thank god NOT in the 25 course Italian-style) , good wine. Your citrus-ginger sauce project sounds fun: butter based?
      I have never made colored/flavored pasta and I should, at least the traditional spinach one for a good lasagna (which I have not made in very, very many years, could u believe it?
      for the time being: a warm hug to u and M. ; all the best for now and for the new year – it still feels a bit as if it’s gonna bit a bumpy ride (Brexit, recession, right wing movements here in europe and yr commander in chief still twitting ecc eccc…). the good news is that your sicilian holidays is getting closer! 🙂 (by the way check Regaleali/Anna Lanza Tasca, it is pretty popular with the americans and I have heard good things also from Italians)(but then you could write to Mary Tyler Simeti for advice, I guess) ciao stefano


      1. Thanks for the info on Anna Lanza Tasca… it is right near where we will be our second week. A day-long class would be perfect.

        The beet pasta and citrus sauce is competely non-traditional, I know, but it sounds good. Yes, there is butter in the sauce but it’s not a full-on beurre blanc.

        We are both rather Scroogish this year – our moron-in-chief, other incredible sadnesses… so quiet works well. Warm thoughts of you both. And send our best to Laura, too. If you can, private message me with your mailing address… I have something I would like to send.


  6. *smile* Love cooking Venetian and can cook Austrian but the Dolomites in-between have always been traversed in a hurry with no exposure to its specialities! This is most unusual and attractive in spite of its triple usage of different carbohydrates [no, am not against them 🙂 !] . . . . Well, the Austrians do love their poppy seeds in their breads and cakes, so just have to try this ‘marriage’ !!!


  7. ciao Clà
    sì, sono buoni. non ricordo da dove provenga ricetta (forse classico mix di ricette). forse tu da esperta cibo locale trovi alternativa più intelligente al parmigiano. s


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