How to make Kaldunes. Or Kaldunys. Or Caldunis. Or Caldoonies. Seriously, no one knows how the hell they are supposed to be spelled. All you have to know is that they are pronounced "Call-doonies." And that the Ludke Family (my mom's family) loves them. I practically grew up on these things.

Step By Step Tutorial:

Step 1:  Assemble the filling ingredients

When I am making these for just my daughter and me (2 people), I use this:

* 1 pound ground beef
* 1 small diced onion
* 1 tablespoon allspice
* salt and pepper to taste

The filling ingredients - you can use less onion and less allspice if you want. I just go completely over the top with mine. When my mom made them she only used 1/3 teaspoon allspice and 1/3 of an onion per pound of ground beef. As you can see, I prefer WAY more than that.

Step 2:  Combine the meat with the spices and onions

What the filling looks like when it is all combined. This will be the inside of your kaldunes.

Step 3:  Assemble the pasta ingredients.  This will be the outside of your kaldunes

Again, for my daughter and me, this is what I use:

* 2.5 cups flour
* 5 tablespoons milk
* 2 beaten eggs
* 1 teaspoon salt

The pasta ingredients

Step 4:  In a big mixing bowl, stir the pasta ingredients together to make your dough. Warning:  This gets really sticky towards the end. When you get down to the very end of the mixing, you will have to use your hands to knead it all together. If it gets too sticky or too firm, you can always add more milk.

At the end of the mixing process, you should have a big ball of dough that looks something like this:

Step 5:  The fun part. Time to flatten the dough and turn it into little kaldune shells.

Put your dough down on a flat surface and cover that surface with flour. This is so nothing will stick. Then get out a rolling pin and just roll the crap out of it. You are trying to turn that ball of dough into the thinnest little layer of pasta dough ever.

Right before you start rolling it

What it will look like when you are done rolling it. It will take a while to get it this flat. This is very stiff dough

This is the thickness you are going for. You don't want your kaldunes to be too thick.

Step 6:  Cutting the dough into kaldune shapes.

Grab yourself a cup with a fairly large brim. Or a cookie cutter. Or a knife. It really doesn't matter how you do this. A cup or a mug works perfectly well too.

The mug I am going to use to cut my kaldune shapes

Place the cup upside down, and start cutting out circle shapes

This is what you are going forYou want them to be circular.

At the end, you will have a bunch of little kaldune shells (on the yellow plate) and a bunch of leftover scraps. Just scoop the scraps up and combine them into a ball again, and use the rolling pin again, and you can probably get about 4 or 5 more shells out of them. Keep doing this over and over with the dough until you can't cut any more shells.

Voila. The end. This batch of dough made about 18 kaldune shells.

Step 7:  Making the kaldunes

At this point all the hard work is done and you are ready to enjoy. Just take a kaldune shell, and fill it with a small amount of the meat. Sort of like you are assembling a soft taco.


After. It really doesn't matter how much meat you use, you just want to be able to close the shell up around it.

Then just close the kaldune shell around the meat and seal it up. Use your fingers to pinch the top close so it will remain airtight. This is sort of like making an empanada. At the end, you just want it to be airtight. Like the picture above.

The finished product. These suckers are ready to boil now.

In the end, this batch of meat and dough created fourteen kaldunes.  

Step 8:  Cooking the kaldunes

This step is easy. Just take a big pot of boiling salted water (with a little oil thrown in so they won't stick.) Once the water is boiling, toss them all in. And stir them immediately so none of them stick together.

Let them boil for a few minutes, and when they all float to the top that means that the meat inside is cooked and they are ready to eat. Once they are all floating take them out of the water and put them on a plate.

And this is what fourteen finished kaldunes looks like.

Step 9:  Enjoy!

I eat them with ketchup. There are some who eat them with white sauce, but we don't need to get into that.

Have fun. And enjoy your kaldunes! This recipe courtesy of my mother, Gloria (Ludke) Lanza.

-Mario Lanza