Culinary Connections | Vegetable Pasties

MONACO FRANCE

The ravioli-like vegetable pastries called barbagiuan belong to Monaco but they are rooted in the culinary traditions of the French Riviera, each area with its own version.

Chard is the vegetable of choice in the principality, spinach in others. Italian cheeses – a blend of ricotta and parmigiano or pecorino – are constants. Leeks and onions complement the greens. Oregano is the obligatory herb. Eggs provide the binding.

Other fillings include cooked rice and squash.

The Monegasque casing is made with a yeast dough, heavily flavoured with olive oil. Elsewhere along the coast, the dough is flour, oil and water. Some versions contain egg.


Barbagiuan Monegasque

Dough

  • 200 g flour
  • 1 small egg (approximately 55 g)
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 25 ml spinach water, lukewarm
  • 10 g yeast
  • Salt, pinch

Filling

  • 75 g onions
  • 50 g chard / spinach, blanched, drained weight, retain cooking liquid
  • 50 g percorino cheese / ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 10 g oregano
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Dissolve yeast in water.

Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add oil, egg and yeast mixture, knead into a firm, smooth dough, adding more water if necessary. Leave to rise for an hour.

Sauté onions in oil for ten minutes. Allow them to brown. Add chard or spinach, wilt. Take off the heat, leave to cool, stir in the cheeses and egg yolks for a creamy mixture. Add pecorino to thicken, if necessary.

Roll dough thin, about 2 mm thick. Make 20 short rounds using a cutter or rim of a small cup or glass.

Put one heaped tablespoon of filling on each round, brush edge with egg white, fold into semi-circles.

Seal edges with prongs of a fork.

Heat vegetable oil in a saucpan, deep fry barbagiuans for five minutes.


Barbajuan

This is the Toulon version.

Dough

  • 200 g white wheat flour / white spelt flour
  • 100 ml chard / spinach water or …
  • 50 ml chard / spinach water and 2 egg yolks
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • Salt, pinch

Filling

  • 75 g onion, chopped
  • 75 g chard / spinach, blanched, drained weight, retain cooking liquid
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 g parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 50 g rice, cooked in chard / spinach water until soft
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Water, to seal pastries

Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add water and oil, form into a smooth dough, adding more water if necessary. Leave to rest in fridge for an hour.

Soak chard in boiling water, drain, chop.

Sauté onion in olive oil for ten minutes, add chard. Leave to cool in a bowl.

Add eggs, parmigiano, parsley and rice, season.

Roll dough thin, about 2 mm. Make ten rounds.

Put 35 g of filling on each round, brush edge with water, fold into semi-circles. Seal edges with prongs of a fork.

Fry barbajuans in peanut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat for eight minutes, turning once.


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