Grana Padano and black truffle Culurgiones
. Difficulty: Medium
. Serves: 4 people
. Preparation time: 1h, 10'
. Variety: Filled pasta
IntroductionI know the name sounds very strange to the majority of people but I can assure we are still talking about food! In fact culurgiones are very traditional pasta from Sardinia. Beautiful in shape, these lovely pasta parcels are usually filled with crushed potatoes, Sardinian pecorino cheese, mint and lemon zest but I decided to play a little with tradition to create my version of this wonderful recipe.
The filling is still with potatoes, but it is dressed with olive oil and loads of grated Grana Padano Riserva, which is aged over 20 months. The longer aged cheese has richer flavour and it gives a nice oomph to the filling. The dressing of the plate will simply be a Grana Padano sauce with black truffle covering the aromatic element of the recipe. Very few ingredients but lots of flavour assured!
Chef’s tip: I would recommend pairing a brut Prosecco DOC with this dish.
Ingredients600 kg of red skinned potatoes
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
120 g of grated Grana Padano cheese
1 garlic clove
20 g of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
30 g of black truffle
50 ml of double cream
For the pasta:
250 g durum flour (semola)
130 g 00 flour
160 ml warm water
10 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt
PreparationTo prepare the pasta simply kneed all the ingredients together until you have smooth but elastic dough. It is egg free pasta with durum flour so it will require a little bit more work than the usual fresh pasta but nothing complicated. Let it rest wrapped in cling film for about 30 minutes.
Now prepare the filling. Boil the potatoes until soft throughout. Don’t worry too much about quantities, what you will not use for the filling can be used as regular mashed potatoes.
Peel the potatoes while still hot and press them through a fine potato ricer. To remove lumps, you can also pass them through a fine sieve.
Dress the potatoes with salt and pepper, 2 tbsp of oil and 80g of Grana Padano, mix well and let it cool down.
To prepare the sauce simply heat up the cream and just before it reaches boiling point add the remaining grated Grana Padano. Mix well with a whisk until all the cheese is melted but do not let it boil to avoid cheese lumps. Keep aside.
Now comes the tricky part. Roll out the pasta with the help of a pasta machine. Gradually reduce the thickness of the pasta sheets until you reach about 3mm.
Cut the pasta into 5cm circles and place a knob of potato about 20g in the middle of each of them. Do not attempt in doing all the culurgiones together as they will dry out while you are making them. Just start by rolling one 3rd of the pasta to start with and move on to the rest once that portion is used up.
To close them, take them into your hands and hold them between index and thumb. Now patiently start pulling from one side the pasta with the other hand pinching the left side of the parcel to the right and vice versa until you’ve reached the other end of the parcel. If you‘ve ever made dumplings it will be helpful. Also, video tutorial online will explain everything much better, it is not as complicated as it sounds, I promise!
Once all the culurgiones are ready drop them in salted boiling water and cook them for 3 minutes. Heat up gently the sauce and melt a knob of butter in a separate pan.
Drop the cooked parcels into the pan with butter and season them with a pinch of salt of pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Plate a nice spoon of sauce on each plate and place the culurgiones on top of it. Finish off with abundant shaved truffle and some extra grated Grana Padano cheese.