According to Federico Fellini, life is a combination of magic and pasta and surely no pasta is more magical than croxetti. Thin sheets of pasta dough are pressed between engraved wooden moulds to create disc shaped coins with fanciful images. In medieval times the images were taken from the coat of arms of noble Ligurian families, hand stamped into the pasta and displayed for status and wealth at the dinner table. Other images included flowers, fruits and intricate designs that reflect the maker’s mark. Traditionally croxetti were stamped with the Christian cross (croxetti) giving this ancient craft cut pasta its name.
These pasta coins go well with lighter sauces made with fresh herbs, olive oil and butter or pesto to showcase the designs on the thin discs. One of my favorite ways to prepare croxetti is sugo bianco, in a white sauce made with butter, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and Parmigiano cheese. I am suggesting ingredient sources for this recipe because the quality of ingredients does make a difference in the final product. Serve this recipe as Italians would do, a first course (primi) a wonderful and unique beginning to an exceptional meal for your family or friends.
Croxetti con Sugo Bianco
1 package of La Bella Angiolina Croxetti Pasta
4 T unsalted butter
½ – 1 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
2 cloves of peeled and roughly chopped fresh garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup whole milk
¼ cup grated fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 T chopped marjoram
Salt and pepper
Boil the pasta according to package directions. When draining pasta retain some of the boiled pasta water. In a blender combine pine nuts, garlic and oil until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a small saucepan with marjoram. Gradually add the melted butter to mixture in blender. Add some of the retained pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Pour drained pasta on to serving platter and lightly dress with sauce.
Note: You may have more sauce than needed. Do not over sauce the pasta. Pasta should not be swimming in the sauce but each pasta coin lightly coated. Serves 4 persons as a primi course.