Croxetti with Smoked Salmon

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Last April when my husband and I visited New York City for my birthday, we went to Eataly. I could have spent much more time there, but my “other half” has limited patience shopping. We checked out the whole place, which requires a map if you want to do it in an orderly fashion, and then ate an incredible lunch.

My husband convinced me to shop online at Eataly.com instead of dragging groceries back home in my suitcase. In retrospect I think it was a trick to keep me from really shopping, but nonetheless I did grab a few Italian goodies.

One was Croxetti, a beautiful embossed pasta that I’d never seen before. I have since learned that the spelling can vary, but these “pendants” are Ligurian in origin.

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Over the many years of Croxetti development, the “traditional” designs have varied. The following photo is an example of a wooden stamp used for embossing, taken from the blog A Path To Lunch.

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I highly recommend reading the blog post I highlighted above. The blog’s authors, Martha and Mike, describe and photograph a meeting with the craftsman Mr. Pietro Picetti, who custom designs croxetti stamps in his workshop in Varese Ligure, Liguria.

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For the croxetti, I chose a light cream sauce with smoked salmon, hoping it would be a delicate enough sauce to not destroy the integrity of these delicate pasta discs once cooked.
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No real recipe is required. The pasta is cooked according to the package directions.
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I sautéed a few minced garlic cloves in hot olive oil, just for a few seconds, then added cream to the pot. Pour enough in the pot to lightly coat the pasta, about 12 ounces of cream for the 1.1 pound of croxetti.

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Julienne thin sliced of smoked salmon or lox, and add them to the cream. Heat through.

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Gently add the drained pasta discs to the cream and let sit, stirring once or twice as necessary to allow the cream sauce to coat the croxetti and get absorbed.

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Serve warm and sprinkle with capers, if desired.

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If you would prefer a thicker sauce, consider adding a little Marscapone or ricotta to the cream.
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Other options for this simple recipe would be to use butter instead of olive oil, and one could include clam juice with the cream for a fishier yet less rich sauce. Also, lemon zest would be a nice touch.

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If you happened to have fresh dill, a few leaves would be pretty on the pasta, but I only had dried dill leaves.

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The croxetti actually didn’t end up being as delicate as I assumed they would be. Of course I treated them gently as well. They were really fun to eat!

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59 thoughts on “Croxetti with Smoked Salmon

  1. I had the same problem with “the other half” when I visited Eataly last year. I spent about 10 minutes just watching them make fresh pasta . I have never seen “Croxetti” pasta before, at least I don’t remember seeing it. Leave it to the Italians to make gorgeous looking pasta like that. Your recipe looks wonderful.

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    • Ugh. I know. And stupidly I resisted buying nettles pesto in a jar, and they don’t sell it online! Arrrgghhhhh. So next time I’m shopping. He also worries that my suitcase will be more than 50 pounds and he’ll have to pay a surcharge. Look in to croxetti, though. These were really fun, and pretty sturdy for such a thin pasta.

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      • When we were in NYC for that trip, it seemed like there was nettles pesto on everything on menus. I usually balk at trendy food, but I decided to not be stubborn and buy some. Except now I can’t. I guess I should call the store and place an order…

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  2. I think it’s time I visit NYC again! Anyway, although both Mrs KR and I hate shopping, food/kitchen stuff is an exception. We can spend hours at it. And do. :-) Love this pasta — so neat. Thanks!

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  3. Hi Mimi, this really caught my eye and got my tastebuds jumping. Now one of the most exciting things in Boston right now is that they just opened an Eataly!!!! I haven’t had a chance to get in there yet but my husband met a friend for lunch and he said it was absolutely fantastic.

    So I can’t wait to get in there to eat and shop and try this recipe too.

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    • Oh brother. I just told someone that I thought there was a new Eataly in San Francisco. It must be Boston!!! It’s a really fun time – block out a whole day, plus plan on lunch and dinner! Nice to see you again Diane!

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  4. Coincidentally, I’ve just been reading about these pasta stamps and wishing I had one (separated at birth…). I’ve never seen the actual pasta here in the UK but perhaps with more people writing about it, it’ll make its way here eventually. I live in hope. Lx

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  5. The first time I had croxetti, I was in the Cinque Terre. They were in a pasta shop, and I got some. I wish I had gotten some stamps to make them at home. Next time, I guess!

    I love Eataly. I have spent hours in there and still felt rushed!

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  6. What a fun experience and right in NYC too. Will have to visit when we see our girls. The dish looks just lovely! I saw Cinque Terre in your last comment and have to say it was probably one of the best places to visit in Italy.

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  7. I was delighted with myself that I knew where Liguria was :). We visited the area recently and enjoyed “corzetti,” beautifully stamped and all. They had other unusual foods, too, like chick pea bread (farinata) and the BEST focaccia I’ve ever had, straight out of the oven and smothered in a soft goat feta. Travel is just so much fun, and now we can do it from home by reading blogs, ordering on-line, and trying things for ourselves :). Very lucky!!!

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    • It is a beautiful part of Italy! Hope you had pesto there! Southeastern France has a chick pea bread called socca but it’s more like a pancake. I made sure to order socca before leaving Nice because I’d never tried it before. Really good. Oh and the fabulous seafood along that coastline. Did you go to the Cinque Terre area?

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