CHJINULE – Sweet Ravioli from Calabria

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Although these chestnut-filled ravioli are a Christmas specialty, they are also a favored sweet during the winter months.  I served these to great acclaim during a Calabrese dinner that I hosted at a Boston restaurant. They are a bit labor intensive, but worth it!

Makes about 4 dozen


  • for the dough:
  • 1 lb. flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 glass sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 glass water
  • optional: 1 tsp. finely ground unbrewed coffee grounds
  • for the filling:
  • 1 lb. dry chestnuts, soaked in water overnight, or 2 lbs fresh chestnuts boiled or roasted
  • 1 lb. (2 C.) sweet cocoa
  • 5 oz. (2/3 C.) bitter sweet chocolate, grated or finely chopped
  • 3.5 oz. (1/2 C.) dried candied fruit
  • 3.5 oz. (1/2 C.) confetti (candied almonds), crushed
  • 3.5 oz. (1.2 C.) torrone, chopped
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch cloves
  • 3.5 oz. (1/2 C.) honey
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • beaten egg white to seal dough
  • olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • honey for serving


For the dough:

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the OO and as much vermouth and water as necessary to make a bread like dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest.


For the filling:

Boil the chestnuts until tender, push through a sieve and mix with all other ingredients.


To assemble:

Flour the dough and roll it out to as thin a thickness as possible. A pasta machine can be used to achieve a consistently thin sheet of dough. Cut the dough into 3 inch disks and paint the edges with the egg white. Put teaspoonfuls of filling on 1/2 of the disk then fold over the other half. Pinch closed with your fingertips or the prongs of a fork being careful not to pierce the dough. Arrange on lightly floured sheet pans or a tray lined with a kitchen towel. These can be made several hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to fry.

Heat 1 liter of OO or vegetable oil to 350°F and fry the chjinule about 6 at a time until they are a deep golden color, about 4-5 min., stirring them gently with a slotted spoon while they are frying. Transfer them to a dry lined with paper towels. Repeat until all of the ravioli have been fried, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain an oil temperature of 350°F.

Separately in a little saucepan dilute honey with a few spoonfuls of water and drizzle over the chjinule. Serve warm.