Casunziei is the name in a North-Eastern Italian dialect for a kind of filled fresh pasta, consisting of a filling sealed between two layers of thin pasta dough, folded in a typical half-moon shape. They are commonly home-made and are typical of the culinary tradition of the Dolomites area, in the north-eastern part of Italy, especially the provinces of Belluno, Vicenza, and Verona.
Casunziei description at prodottitipici.com (in Italian). Accessed on 2010-01-14.
Atlante dei Prodotti tradizionali ed agroalimentari del Veneto. Veneto regional government and Veneto Agricoltura. Cited by prodottitipici.com as their source.
Casunziei picture at the Belluno provincial government site. Accessed on 2010-01-14.
The square shell, typically about 3.5 by 3.5 cm, consists of two sheets of pasta pressed together at the borders, like those of ravioli.
The pre-cooked and finely ground filling varies from area to area and typically includes vegetables and ricotta cheese. The original recipes are the "red" variety (casunziei rossi) with beet, potato, and red Veronese turnips; and the "green" one (casunziei verdi) with spinach, the wild-growing erba cipollina in the filling. Other varieties have fillings of pumpkin or radishes. The filling may included other ingredients such as ham, mushrooms, other kinds of cheese, poppy seeds, etc. In particular, the casunziei all'ampezzana have a filling of red and yellow turnips and are typically served with melted butter, poppy seeds, and Parmesan cheese.
Other servings are sage-flavored melted butter, or a radish-based sauce.
At Cencenighe, casunziei served with ground poppy seeds and honey were a traditional Christmas Eve dish.