Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 6 minutes per frying batch
We have the Principality of Monaco to thank for the barbajiuan, a well-known and well-loved specialty largely inspired by numerous French Provençal towns.
Aficionados of the barbajiuan will know that in the dialect of Monaco the word means "Uncle John." Folklore says that a certain Monsieur Jean, having no sauce for his chard-filled ravioli, came up with the idea of frying them. His guests were delighted and decided to name the treats "barbajiuans" in his honor.
Prince Albert I also had a weakness for barbajiuan. A little girl named Marie whom he met at the bishop's would often bring him barbajiuans. It's said he would order some each week, allowing young Marie to earn some gold coins. So barbajiuans are not only delicious, but they have the ability to make people happy!
The recipe comes from Le Barbajiuan restaurant in Monaco, located in the heart of Fontvieille (address below). There's no better patio on which to enjoy these delights at any hour of the day.
- Form a well in the centre of the flour.
- Add in the eggs, oil, a little water and the salt.
- Combine and work the ingredients to form a pastry with the consistency of pie pastry.
- Set aside in a cool place while you prepare the filling.
- Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water. Drain and chop finely.
- Crush the garlic in a mortar, then add the spinach, eggs, parmesan, ricotta, ham, salt and pepper.
Assembly and cooking
- Roll the pastry out thinly. Using a cookie cutter, cut out rounds.
- With a rolling pin, elongate each lightly floured round to create an oval.
- Place a small amount of filling on a small section of the oval.
- Brush the perimeter with egg white and fold over. Seal the edges with your fingers.
- Fry the barbajiuans in hot oil (175° C) for 5 to 6 minutes until nicely golden.
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