Cialsons are a traditional dish from Fruili, and although they look like a form of stuffed pasta, they have a couple of unique factors going for them: a potato and chocolate filling and the decorative twisted edge. They aren’t difficult to master at all and I did these myself during one rainy afternoon.
If the potato-chocolate filling piqued your interest, then read on. The ingredient list reads like this: potatoes, italian parsley, mint, tarragon, thyme, marjoram, raisins, figs, chocolate and cinnamon. It’s an unusual mixture, and kind of reminds me of xmas with the chocolate and dried fruit, and yes they are delicious!
The same basic rules apply to preparing these. Roll out the pasta dough as thinly as possible (#6 on a manual pasta machine) and don’t overstuff. These can be frozen in a single layer then bagged for future meals. A little olive oil and grated smoked ricotta finishes the dish.
Ingredients for pasta:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Mound the flour on a work surface; make a well in the center and add the eggs. Combine and knead until smooth, adding water if necessary. Cover with a cloth and let rest for half hour.
Ingredients for filling:
1 pound potatoes, steamed or boiled until done
1 tablespoon chopped fresh italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/3 cup golden raisins, chopped fine
2 dried figs, chopped fine
1/3 cup grated semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and pepper
smoked ricotta (for garnish)
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove skins and put through a potato ricer. (If you don’t have a ricer, use a fork.) Add the remaining ingredients except smoked ricotta and combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Roll out dough and cut into 3-inch rounds. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the center. Taking each pasta circle, gently stretch to elongate into an oval. Fold bottom half toward top to within 1/4-inch from the edge and press to seal. Lightly dampen curved edge with water and making small folds, turn in to form pleats.
To serve: Bring a pot of water to a boil, lightly flavor with salt and cook cialsons for about two minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and portion into dishes. Drizzle with good olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with grated parmigiano or smoked ricotta.