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Your family recipes: traditional Barbagiuàns

Like grandma used to make - © Sharon Eastwood via Facebook

Once you’ve tried one, you’ll be back for more!

If there is one signature dish in Monaco’s culinary heritage, it’s barbagiuàn (or barbajuan, if you spell it the Riviera way).


Legend has it that one day a certain Monsieur Jean decided to cook ravioli stuffed with chard for his guests, but as he didn’t have a sauce, he had the idea of frying them. The guests loved this original dish so much that they decided to call it barbagiuàn (Uncle Jean).

We asked you for your favourite recipes. Here’s what Sharon suggested on our Facebook page:

For around sixty barbagiuàns (her grandmother’s recipe):

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For the pastry:

  • 400g flour + flour for the worktop
  • 1 egg
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 3 bunches of chard
  • 1 handful of spinach sprouts
  • 2 small spring onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt, pepper

1. Make the pastry by mixing all the ingredients together, taking care not to overwork the dough. Leave to rest.

2. Gently fry the chopped spring onion, then add the blanched, trimmed chard, blanched spinach and garlic clove. Cook for a few minutes.

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3. Strain into a colander and squeeze out all the water using a potato masher.

4. Mix the drained chard, parmesan, egg. Season to taste.

5. Roll out the dough in a rolling machine (KitchenAid level 5), adding flour if necessary. I prefer when the pastry is thin like cigarette paper and “melts” into the filling, but if you prefer thicker pastry, use level 3.

6. Place mounds of filling on top, double the pastry over and cut into coarse ravioli. Take care to seal the edges.

7. Deep-fry until golden brown (3-4min), making sure the oil is not too hot. Allow to sit on kitchen roll for a while and serve warm.

You can keep any leftover pastry to make a pie, for example.

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