How to Make “Cjalsons” | Sweet & Savory Ravioli Recipe
This ravioli variation from Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a bit strange, but highly recommended! They’re sweet and savory at the same time, in a way that’s difficult to describe. Every family in the region has their own recipe, but here we’ll share a version that covers some of the commonly used ingredients and techniques.
Making Potato Ravioli Dough
Cjalsons are often made with a potato dough. The ratio of potato to dough is 1:1 by weight, when measuring the raw potato. We used a 7 oz. (200g) potato and 200g of flour, which yielded enough dough for 12-15 ravioli. If you want to make sure you have enough dough, you can always use a larger potato and increase the amount of flour to match, knowing that you might end up with some extra dough in the end.
Unlike gnocchi dough, which is best worked as little as possible, this dough should be very well kneaded until it is super smooth and elastic.
How to Cook Fresh Ravioli
Because this is a fresh pasta, it cooks very quickly. Carefully drop the ravioli, one at a time, into a large pot of boiling water that has been generously salted. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer into the sauce.
It’s important not to overcrowd the water pot or the pan where you will mix the pasta with the sauce. Either use large pots and pans that can accommodate up to 15 ravioli, or cook the pasta in batches.
How to Save & Store Ravioli for Later
Making fresh pasta is really fun, but it also involves some time and patience which is why you’ll likely find yourself wanting to make a big batch all at once to eat over time. It’s easy to save fresh ravioli for later. After making the dumplings, arrange them on a baking sheet or platter dusted with flour. Make sure the ravioli aren’t touching each other or they’ll stick together. Freeze them until solid, at which point you can transfer the pasta into a freezer bag.
Cook frozen ravioli directly from the freezer, don’t thaw them in advance. They’ll take slightly longer, maybe 30-60 seconds more than normal.
How to Make the Baked Ricotta Topping
Cjalsons are often served with chopped, smoked ricotta on top. If you can’t find any, you can use baked ricotta. Take a very dry ricotta that has been drained overnight and cut it into thick wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake on parchment paper at 390 degrees F (200 C) until the edges become crispy and brown.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make Cjalsons here:
Makes: 12-15 ravioli
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
For this recipe, you will need:
One 7 oz. (200g) russet potato (see above)
1 2/3 cups (200g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup (40g) raisins
1.75 oz. (50g) drained ricotta
1/3 large apple, finely grated
15 hazelnuts, finely chopped
7 amaretti cookies, finely crushed
1 1/2 tbsp. apple or pear jam
1.5 tsp. cocoa powder
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
Smoked or baked ricotta for topping, chopped (optional)
Potato ricer or masher
Small cup or bowl
3 1/2 inch round cookie cutter
Boil the potato, skin on, until fork tender—about 45-60 minutes. Drain and let the potato cool completely before starting the dough. Once cool, peel it by hand.
Pour the flour into a pile on a large work surface. Mash the potato with a ricer directly over the flour. Knead the ingredients together until a smooth, elastic dough forms. This will take some time, be patient! The potatoes absorb flour very slowly, so it might seem sticky at first. Dust with flour if the dough remains sticky even after totally incorporating.
Form the dough into a large ball, dust the outside liberally with flour and wrap in plastic. Let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can prepare the stuffing.
Place the raisins in a small bowl and fill with rum to cover. Let them soak while you combine the other ingredients. Mix the ricotta, grated apple, chopped hazelnuts, crushed cookies, jam and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Season with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Finally, drain the raisins and mix these in as well.
The mixture shouldn’t be too wet. If it is, you can mix in some breadcrumbs to absorb the excess liquid.
After the dough has rested, cut it in half and keep the unused portion wrapped in plastic. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a big circle until it is quite thin. Use a round cookie cutter to cut 6-8 circles of dough out, then gather up the scraps and keep them wrapped in plastic for later.
Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle and fold the dough in half to make a half-moon shape. Press the edges shut with your fingers, then crimp the bottom corners up so that each dumpling can stand upright. Repeat with the remaining dough until all of the pasta and/or filling is used up.
Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and salt it generously. Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat in a small pan. Carefully drop the ravioli one at a time into the boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain with a slotted spoon and arrange the cooked ravioli upright on a serving plate. Top the ravioli with melted butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and smoked ricotta.