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Monegasque Barbagiuans - cheese and spinach-stuffed pastries

What's The Big Idea?

Monegasque = from Monaco. You knew that already, right?!

Barbagiuans (or Barbajuans) are snacks or appetizers which originate from Monaco but are also found along the eastern part of French Riviera and in Northern Italy. They are especially popular on Monaco National Day (19 November).

This recipe will make about 20

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • For the pastry:
    • 210g plain flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 60ml olive oil
    • 1 egg, beaten
  • For the filling:
    • 1½ teaspoons olive oil
    • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
    • 1 leek (white part only), finely chopped
    • 2-3 Swiss chard leaves (green parts only), shredded
    • 50g fresh spinach, chopped
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2½ tablespoons Ricotta cheese
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • Salt & pepper
    • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

What To Do

  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl
  • Add the olive oil and beaten egg and blend with a fork
  • Add just enough water to bring the pastry together as a firm dough
  • Turn this out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes
  • Wrap in plastic film and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, make the filling by heating the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat
  • Add the onion and leek and fry for about 5 minutes
  • Add the chard, spinach and oregano and fry until the chard is very tender (about 10 minutes)
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the cheeses and season with salt and pepper
  • Set aside to cool
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until about 2mm thick
  • Use a 6cm pastry cutter to cut as many circles as possible
  • Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each circle and brush the edges with the egg white
  • Fold the dough over to form a semi-circle and press the edges together to seal
  • Pour vegetable oil into a deep fryer and heat to 190C
  • Working in batches, add the pastries to the oil and fry until brown and crisp (about 5 minutes)
  • Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towels using a slotted spoon
  • Eat while still warm

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