Post image for Labinski krafi – the noblest pasta in Istria

Labinski krafi – the noblest pasta in Istria

by Gogo on May 27, 2009

in Carbs,EatIstria Recipes

Labinski krafi

There is a long standing tradition of pasta in Istria, a clear inflence of the Venetian republic that ruled the peninsula for centuries. Many types of pasta are still now made in a traditional way at home, like fuži, pljukanci and posutice, especially for some special occasion. The most noble pasta you can find here are surely Labinski krafi that are a kind of ravioli stuffed with mild cow’s grated cheese, raisins and lemon zest. They are coming from Labin, the most important town of the east Istrian coast. It is rare to find them elsewhere, impossible to buy it in a shop or find them on the menu of a restaurant.

They are very peculiar kind of pasta – it goes well either with salty or sweet sauces, probably beacuse the filling is slightly sweet. So, when you make them, you prepared at the same time the main dish and the dessert! In the role of the main dish you traditionally serve them with a sauce made from beef and chicken (hrv. šugo, a kind of goulash or ragout). As dessert, you can use a sauce made of cherries, some sugar and local red wine Teran that has spiky acidity, or you can just pour over them grated nuts, butter and some sugar.

Thanks to kindness of Josipa Ravnić from Ližnjan (but born and raised in Labin) I am bringing you detailed instructions, with photos and videos, to make Labinski krafi.

mixing the ingredients for the doe
Preparation of the pasta dough. The filling is
in the bowl.

Ingredients: (for 30 pieces)

for the filling

150 g mild and 2-3 month old cow milk cheese
150 g mild and 2-3 month old sheep milk cheese
100 g grated 1-2 day old bread
4-5 eggs
3 spoons of sugar
1 spoon of dark rum
1 spoon of butter
1 cup of raisins
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 package (5 g) of vanilla sugar
(or a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
grate some nutmeg over the filling

Grate the cheese. Add all ingredients and mix them in a bowl. Try the filling, it should be slightly sweet, just enough to cover the acidity of the cheese and lemon zests.

for the dough
400 g flour of type 00
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
3 spoons of olive oil

You need just few drops of water since eggs will give enough liquid to make a nice dough. When the dough is well mixed and it does not stick anymore to your fingers (add more flour if it does), pass it several times in the pasta machine, each time reducing the thickness between two cylinders.

using pasta machine
Passing the pasta dough through the pasta machine

It can be a bit tricky, so look at the video for the tips. Add some flour to the pasta sheet and to the table to avoid sticking to the cylinders of the machine.

At the end you should have pasta sheets that are less than 1 mm thick. Put a spoon of the filling on the sheet every 5 cm. Then, fold the right part of the sheet over the filling.

Labinski krafi
Putting the filling on the pasta sheet

Use the stamp to cut the sheet and form krafi. The stamp with immediately glue the edges.

Using stamp to make labinski krafi
Using the stamp to form krafi

Pierce each piece with a fork, so when they cook the air can go out. Let them dry out for an hour on the floured surface. If you will not cook them immediately, it is convenient to freeze them. Use in the next three months.

Leave krafi for an hour to dry out
Drying of krafi

Finally, here are krafi served with artichokes alla romana…

Labinski krafi with carciofi

…or as dessert, in the sauce of cherries, red wine Teran, some sugar and grappa.

Labinski krafi in cherry sauce

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Clem June 8, 2009 at 13:10

They look so good! I would like to try and make them, but I don't have a pasta machine. That's really necessary isn't it?


Dr. Gogo June 8, 2009 at 15:35

Pasta machine is not expensive, around 200 kn and it is worth every penny. Of course, if you are skilled enough to make a sheet of equal thickness you can just use a large table and a large rolling pin (wooden cylinder) to spread the doe. If you get into the practice, it can be even quicker.


JohnF August 10, 2009 at 08:32

My Dad comes from Labin and Krafi was eaten at every major holiday and special event. In our family it was served with a chicken "gravy". It was and is my favorite meal and if I had but one left, it would be Krafi. John Faraguna


Dr. Gogo August 10, 2009 at 11:59

Dear John,
According to your surname I am sure that you are from Labin 🙂
And yes, you are right, Krafi are traditionally served with chicken "gravy" (Question for you, can you say also chicken stew?) but it was season of artichokes and we dared to pair it with Krafi. It was excellent combination, indeed!


jackie faraguna October 29, 2010 at 05:40

I have been searching for an authentic krafi recipe…funny i should stumble on your post DAD!!! To our many wonderful pasta memories…and many more to come!!


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