What are Croxetti?
Croxetti are a pasta form typical of Liguria. They are usually made from durum wheat flour and water, so they are suitable for vegans. The form is believed to have been developed in the Middle Ages.
The stamps to make them with were traditionally cut from wood. There were several motives, some of them displayed crosses, hence the name. Aristocratic Ligurian families used them to display their wealth by having their family’s coat of arms cut into wood and had then their pasta coined with it.
For my grandfather’s 81st birthday, I used his crest (not a genuine one, we’re not aristocrats) to make individualized pasta for him. Not all the intricate details were visible in the stamp and therefore not in the pasta, but I think he will love it nonetheless.
The patterns are not merely decorative, but help holding the sauce (or Italian sugo). Popular patterns on ready-made croxetti are pestle and mortar (because of the Pesto alla genovese tradition), sunsets, sailing boats (because of the long coast line of Liguria) or the maker’s trademark.
They are usually served with a sauce based on Pesto alla genovese or al tocco de funzi, a Ligurian mushroom sauce.
How to make croxetti stampati
To prepare the pasta dough mix 100 g durum wheat flour (semola) with about 55-60 ml of water, add a pinch of salt and kneed well. You can make the dough without salt as well, which I prefer after a disaster with oversalted dough.
Wrap the dough neatly into cling film and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
Then roll out the dough to a thickness of about 2 mm.
Use the croxetti cutter to cut the circular pieces, than put the patterned stamp into the cutter and press on the dough again. Voilà – your first croxetto is done. Let the croxetti dry on clean linnen or a drying rack.