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What is Croxetti Pasta?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Croxetti pasta is a specialty Italian pasta made in the shape of a medallion and stamped with symbols, decorations and coats of arms. The style originated in Liguria, which is located in Northwestern Italy along the border with France. It is possible to make croxetti pasta at home, providing that cooks have suitable molds for it, or it is available through some shops. Consumers also can order special molds for occasions such as weddings.

Status Symbol

This tradition is believed to have originated in the Middle Ages, when families wanted to show their status in every way possible. Since a coat of arms was a formally awarded seal and carried implications of status, wealthy families started stamping their coats of arms into disc-shaped pasta to impress guests and visitors. By tradition, a pattern or ornament adorned the back of the pasta as well. Frequently, this ornament was the Christian cross, leading to the name “croxetti,” which is related to the Latin cruci, for “cross.”

Use of Molds

Modern croxetti pasta might be stamped with the maker's mark or a regional coat of arms, and the back might be adorned with a fanciful pattern such as a sailboat or a tree. Typically, the mark for the pasta is embedded into a disc-shaped mold, so that the pasta can be stamped and cut at the same time. For home pasta cooks, handheld molds are available, or people could individually hand stamp the pasta, using a circular pasta cutter to cut out the pasta medallions.

Dishes and Sauces

The shape of croxetti pasta holds sauces well, although it tends to get buried under heavy or chunky sauces. Pesto and light cream sauces are good pairings for croxetti pasta. Especially at events where the hosts want guests to be able to see the seals, a light sauce might be more suitable. This type of pasta also can be eaten plain or with light dressings such as fresh herbs, butter or olive oil. In addition, croxetti pasta can be colored or flavored with additions such as spinach, marjoram or sun-dried tomatoes.

Rare Cuisine

Ligurian pasta can fetch a high price in some stores, because it is not produced in large quantities. Its scarcity, however, is one of the things that make croxetti pasta a fun addition to the table and a topic of conversation. People who are having difficulty obtaining this pasta might consider ordering it directly from Italy, through a company that specializes in exporting uniquely Italian foods.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By popcorn — On Aug 05, 2011

For those who would like to sample croxetti pasta you can actually buy bags of it from Italian specialty shops and online. The croxetti is printed with the company logo on one side and a simple image on the other.

While a half-pound bag of croxetti pasta for $9.99 may not give you the full experience of a hand stamped pasta, it will give you a good idea of the texture and taste of the pasta. If you are thinking about having croxetti made for a party you should try it first to see if you like it.

For myself I think the thin discs are fantastic with a thin tomato and basil sauce.

By lonelygod — On Aug 04, 2011

For those that are looking for a unique touch to your event, croxetti pasta can be a good choice, although it can be expensive if you need a lot of it made.

My wife and I recently went to a wedding and half of the family was Italian. They made it a point to serve croxetti pasta with their family crest on it. It was quite intricate and we were all very impressed by what you could do with pasta if you had the right tools.

For myself I have been fiddling with making croxetti pasta with simpler patterns for practice. One day it might be fun to have a dinner party with our family initials featured on one side of the pasta.

By truman12 — On Aug 03, 2011

I am a print maker but I had never thought about the potential of stamping and making images on pasta. I absolutely love this idea and I think I'm going to start tinkering with it today. It seems like with the right amount of planning and preparation you could make some really impressive and elaborate pictures on a big piece of pasta, a lasagna or something.

I wonder too if there is a way to stamp it in such a way that it hold the sauce in certain places to give the picture pools of color. You could use marinara in one place, pesto in another and Alfredo in a third. Wow, I'm getting so many ideas at once. I have to start tinkering with this. I guess the first step is learning to make fresh pasta.

By summing — On Aug 03, 2011

My grandfather was from Italy and when he immigrated to the US he brought very few things with him. He said that everything he brought fit into a small trunk that he could easily carry in his arms. Despite that lack of space he managed to bring over a croxetti pasta stamp that had been in his family for generations. It had his family crest as a stamp.

He would always make croxetti around special occasions. He ended up marrying an Irish who was charming but a terrible pasta cook. My grandfather always did all the cooking when it came to pasta and sauces. He loved to make big plate of croxetti and the announce that "The old world has arrived." I've never seen anyone so in love with one kind of pasta.

He passed away a few years ago but my brother still has the pasta stamp. I haven't eaten the pasta in a number of years but I know that we still can. I'm glad that we have this special way to remember our grandfather.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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