Cjalsòns della Valle del Bût

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe of the Month

Cjalsòns della Valle del Bût
(Pasta Filled with Fruit and Herbs)

These sweet-savory cjalsòns—also spelled “cjarsòns”—from the now-closed Ristorante Salon in Piano d’Arta are filled with fruit and herbs. In addition to the herbs listed below, the restaurant also used leaves of lemon balm, lemon verbena, and geranium. I have tasted many versions of cjalsòns, and these were, without a doubt, my absolute favorite.

Ingredients
Pasta Dough:
1 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup boiling water, plus extra as needed
1 tablespoon olive oil
• • •
Filling:
1 white potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and quartered
1/4 cup finely crushed biscotti
1/4 cup grated apple
1/4 cup grated pear
3 tablespoons grated ricotta affumicata
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
• • •
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup grated ricotta affumicata
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Dough:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, boiling water, and olive oil. Transfer the dough to a clean surface; knead until the flour is fully incorporated and the mixture becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (If the dough is too dry or crumbly, lightly moisten your fingers with water during kneading until you reach the desired texture.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:
Place the potato in a medium pot filled with water; bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potato and place in a medium bowl; mash well. Cool to room temperature. Stir in the crushed biscotti, apple, pear, ricotta affumicata, currants, apricot jam, sugar, lemon peel, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the parsley, basil, mint, and marjoram; cook and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir into the potato mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to use.

To Prepare:
Working in batches, feed the dough through the rollers of a pasta machine until very thin (setting #7 on most machines). Cut out 3-inch circles from the dough. Place 1 teaspoon filling on each circle. Moisten the edges with water and fold in half to make a semi-circle, sealing the edges tightly. Pinch the sealed edge into four points.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, place the cjalsòns in the water; cook until they rise to the surface, about 1–2 minutes. Drain.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; remove from heat. Stir in the ricotta affumicata, sugar, and cinnamon; add the cjalsòns and toss to coat with butter.

Serves 4.