Genoese Pansotti with walnut sauce

Delicious ‘casckets’ of fresh pasta stuffed with herbs and cheese, typical of the Ligurian cuisine, similar to ravioli, pansotti (or pansoti) are distinguished from the latter by their larger size and the meatless filling. Those with walnut sauce, which we propose today, are one of the most typical and at the same time cheap, dishes of the Genoese tradition.

Their official debut seems to date back to May 18, 1961, when on the Ligurian newspaper “Il Secolo XIX” appeared an article entitled: “Pansotti, curious food”. The article was dictating the strict laws of the filling: five wild herbs, of which the essential is borage, strictly collected, in the morning, on the trails of Mount Portofino, amalgamated until obtaining a dough better known under the name of “prebuggiun”. Since the preboggion herbs aren’t easy to purchase in stores, you can resort to the more traditional swiss chard, spinach or escarole. The dish is then enriched and made tasty thanks to a quite thick compound characterized by the presence of chopped nuts that keep a good texture and give the pasta a lovable and slightly bitter taste.


For the dough

400 g of flower
1/2 cup of water
1 tea spoon of dry white wine

For the stuffing

800 g of borage or escarole or herbs
200 g of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 clove of garlic
Grated cheese

For the dressing

150 g of walnuts
1/2 clove of garlic
Bread crumb
50 g of grated cheese
20 g of butter


Prepare the dough with flour, half cup of water, wine and salt and let rest for half an hour. Boil the borage, chop with half a clove of garlic and mix with ricotta, eggs and plenty of grated cheese, just enough to give consistency to the mixture. Then roll out the dough, distributing over the filling in small heaps. Cut out a square of dough around each pile and fold it in two. At this point prepare the sauce: blanch the walnuts, remove the peel and pestle them  with half clove of garlic and with a bit of bread crumb bathed in milk and after squeezed. Then dilute the mixture with oil until a smooth sauce is obtained, possibly add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking water of the herbs. Boil the Pansotti in plenty salted water, drain them and dress with the walnut sauce, a few knobs of butter and plenty of grated cheese. Stir and serve.

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