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Mezzelune: Everything About the Pasta Shape

Pasta varieties are often named after something they resemble. Farfalle, the butterfly-shaped pasta, gets its name from the Italian word for butterflies. Conchiglie, the shell-shaped pasta, is derived from the Italian word for seashells. Today’s pasta is mezzelune, a pasta named after the moon. 

Mezzelune’s name means “half moons” in Italian. This semi-circular stuffed pasta comes from Tyrol, a region formed by two Italian states and one Austrian state. Because of its shared heritage, it is also known as schlutzkrapfen in other parts of the world. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything there is to know about mezzelune and we’ll even provide delicious recipes you can try on your next culinary adventure. 

Mezzelune: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about mezzelune: 

Pasta Shape:Mezzelune
Pasta Type:Filled Pasta
Origin:Italy, Austria
Meaning:Italian word for “Half Moons”
Synonyms:Schlutzer, schlutzkrapfen, Ravioli della Pusteria
Similar Shapes:Casunziei, Casoncelli, Agnolotti

Where Did Mezzelune Originate?

Mezzelune pasta came from Tyrol, a Euregion formed by one Austrian state named Tyrol and two Italian provinces, namely: South Tyrol and Trentino. 

Mezzelune is traditionally made with white or buckwheat flour, semolina, eggs, and olive oil. It is typically filled with soft cheeses and vegetables. Much like ravioli, it can pair well with any sauce depending on the filling. 

What Does Mezzelune Mean?

The word “mezzelune” directly translates to “half-moons”. It is formed by flattening out a sheet of pasta dough, cutting out rounds, and then filling out the rounds with your stuffing of choice. The dough circles are then folded into a semi-circle shape and sealed at the edges. 

What Is the Difference Between Mezzelune and Ravioli?

Mezzelune and ravioli are both variants of filled pasta. Ravioli is more widely-known and it comes in either squares or circles. Mezzelune only comes in one shape: a semi-circle that often resembles pierogi. 

Both mezzelune and ravioli can be filled with the same type of stuffing and cooked in the same way. They are extremely interchangeable, but if you want to know which one to use, it all comes down to personal preference, availability, and the recipe being prepared. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Mezzelune Pasta

Here are some traditional dishes you can make with mezzelune pasta:

Wild Mushroom Mezzelune in Brown Butter Sauce

Stuffing your homemade mezzelune with a sauteed mushroom and garlic filling is a surefire way to elevate this dish. Finish it with a nutty brown butter sauce and you’re good to go. 

Mezzelune in Marinara Sauce

This simple and rustic meal is a straightforward yet sumptuous way of enjoying mezzelune. A creamy spinach and ricotta filling is stuffed inside the pasta, then it gets drenched in a freshly made marinara sauce.  

These simple but delicious dishes are just a few ways you can enjoy mezzelune pasta.  

Final Thoughts 

Mezzelune pasta is a great way to experiment with filled pasta. If you’re tired of the same old ravioli shapes and want to get experimental in the kitchen, mezzelune is a foolproof way to level up your culinary skills. As long as it is the main component of the dish, mezzelune is sure to elevate any sauce and any ingredient. 

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