Tag: Monaco

Legendary Dishes | L’estocafic (stockfish stew)


The air-dried salted cod from the Lofoten Islands was revered as much as the local fish that went into bouillabaisse, and its origins in the villages between Nice and Monaco are still shrouded in mystery.

Made with the whole stockfish, a bucketful of tomatoes and almost as many potatoes with a bouquet garni, garlic, onions, olive oil and black olives, it was a slow-cooked stew with countless variations on the basic recipe.

Also known as E’stocafi, Estofinado and Stoficado, this dish goes through a transformation when the cod is poached in a court-bouillon made with the garlic-herb-onion-sweet pepper-tomato mix, mashed with potatoes, butter, cream, eggs, garlic, parsley and hot walnut oil.

Some chefs now make both the stew and the mash with fresh cod, and make a baccalà-like dish by poaching the cod and adding the perfectly cooked flakes to mashed potatoes, olive oil and parsley, finishing with a garnish of grated parmigiano and anchovy fillets.

This is the original.

  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 600 g potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 600 g stockfish
  • 500 g red peppers, chopped
  • 400 g onions, chopped
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 100 g black olives
  • 100 g garlic, crushed
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • Brandy, splash
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • Bouquet garni (fennel, marjoram, savory, thyme)
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Soak stockfish in cold water for 72 hours, changing the water twice a day. Skin and remove everything except the firm flesh, place bits in a saucepan with sufficient water to cover. Add a bay leaf, some of the chopped onions and two cloves of garlic. Bring to the boil and simmer for an hour. Strain and set liquid aside.

Cut cod into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a medium setting. Sauté the fish gently, adding a splash of brandy and a glass of white wine. Evaporate the alcohol and remove the fish to a bowl. Deglaze the pan with the tomatoes, add the garlic, bouquet garni, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and pepper.

Reduce on a high heat for 15 minutes, then add the fish. Cover and simmer for an hour and a half, adding the fish stock to loosen when the stew becomes thick. In a separate saucepan blanch the potatoes for 15 minutes. Add olives, potatoes, peppers and remaining onions.

Serve in soup bowls. Pureed anchovies with basil and garlic, and chopped parsley are traditional accompaniments.




Culinary Connections | Vegetable Pasties


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


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


  • 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.


This is the Toulon version.


  • 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


  • 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.