Ravioli made with gnocchi dough, recipe from Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Ofelle alla Triestina are an unusual and tasty homemade ravioli from Trieste in Friuli Venezia Giulia filled with sausage, veal and spinach and served dressed in melted butter and grated cheese! These gnocchi ravioli are a delicious dish from a region full of culinary treasures!
So what are ofelle alla Triestina?
Some people call them potato ravioli, others say gnocchi ravioli. But, whichever description you use, ofelle Triestine or ofella alla Triestina are a unique type of ravioli filled with sausage meat, ground veal and spinach. These ravioli are unique because they are only made in Friuli Venezia Giulia and the dough is similar to an gnocchi dough. Yes it contains potatoes. But, the finished filled pasta looks like ravioli! So, gnocchi ravioli!
I discovered this recipe whilst researching pasta from Friuli Venezia Giulia. This is Italy’s most eastern region. It not only borders Austria and Slovenia, but has a complex history of occupation through the ages. This includes parts or all of the region being ruled at one time or another by the Byzantines, the Roman Empire, the Venetian republic, Napoleon and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Without going into a long narrative about the history of this Friuli Venezia Giulia, suffice to say that the cuisine in this part of Italy has been influenced not only by its neighbours but also by the occupying states. Here, you can find dishes you won’t see in other parts of the Italian peninsula. Even some of the ingredients are unique to this region.
Two examples of this use of unusual ingredients are two recipes I posted recently for cinnamon spiced pork ragu and another for tagliolini alla San Daniele with poppy seeds.
Both filled pasta and gnocchi are ancient traditional foods in Italy, particularly in Northern Italy. However, the only traditional example I have found of potatoes used to make ravioli dough is this recipe for ofelle alla Triestina. This is not a pasta that you will find ready-made. So, the only way to try it is to travel to Trieste or make it yourself!
Making ofelle alla Triestina.
The method for making the dough for ofelle is much the same as making potato gnocchi. However instead of forming gnocchi you need to roll the dough out like for ravioli. Getting the right consistency and thickness is a little more difficult. However, the rolled out dough can, and needs to be, a little thicker that ravioli dough.
At first, I was a little skeptical about the thickness. But, actually, if you make them too thin, the ofelle will fall apart. And, although they are thicker than ravioli, they taste like gnocchi, so no excessive doughy flavour.
The filling is pretty easy to make and very tasty. These ravioli don’t need a sauce as such.Traditionally, they are served with melted butter and a mountain cheese called Montasio. However, you can use Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana.
This is an unusual type of pasta that does require a little bit of work. However, it’s more or less the same as making homemade ravioli or gnocchi. I’m sure that if you try these ofelle alla Triestina, you’ll love them as much as I do!
If you do try this ofelle alla Triestina recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.
Your feedback means a lot to me!
Save this recipe for later?
If you want to save this recipe for later, you can print it, bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest.
Ofelle alla Triestina (Gnocchi Ravioli)
- 1 kg potatoes (2.20 lbs) Best to use starchy potatoes. Russets or King Edwards are good
- 250 g All purpose flour or Italian 00 flour (9oz)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp yeast (for baking)
- 1 pinch salt
- 700 g fresh spinach (1.5lbs)
- 200 g ground veal (7oz)
- 150 g Italian sausages (5oz) casing removed and chopped
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 20 g butter (0,7 oz)
- salt to cook pasta and to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 100 g butter (3.5oz)
- 80 g Montasio or Parmigiano Reggiano grated (3oz)
Make the dough
- Boil the potatoes whole in salted water until very tender. Drain and, while still warm, peel, and press through a ricer or food mill. (I actually press the potatoes without peeling as the peel stays inside the ricer)
- Place the riced potatoes in a large bowl and add the eggs, a pinch of salt, the yeast and enough flour to make a dough that is the same consistency of gnocchi dough. (I started with 250g but added a bit more as the dough seemed too wet)
- Mix ingredients together. Then turn out onto a floured pastry or pasta board. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, then let rest covered with a cloth or tea towel for 30 minutes.
Make the filling
- In the meantime, cook the spinach with just a tablespoon of water until wilted. Drain and press out any excess liquid. Chop finely
- Peel and finely chop the onions and fry until soft in melted butter.
- In a large frying pan or skillet, heat a little olive oil over , then add the cooked onion, cooked spinach, ground veal, and chopped sausage meat, and cook over a medium-high heat until the meat is nicely browned. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Make your ofelle alla Triestina
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll one quarter of pasta dough out into a rectangle of 9-10 cm wide until it is about 3-5 mm thick. You can use a pasta machine to do this, but I didn’t. Place a scant tablespoons of the filling along one side of the rectangle at about 3-5 cm apart and 1cm away from the edge.
- Fold the pasta over the filling and press down around the filling. Cut out the ofelle/ravioli squares with a serrated pasta wheel. I then used a fork to make a ‘frill’ along each side of the ofelle and seal the filling inside. Set the ofelle aside on a floured surface or plate.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and bring to a boil again. Cook the ofelle in the boiling water until they are tender and cooked through. They will probably rise to the surface when almost ready. Then cook for another minute. In total give them about 4 minutes.
- While the ofelle are cooking melt the rest of the butter in a small pan.
- Drain and place the ofelle in a serving bowl or plate. Drizzle some melted butter over them, top with grated Montasio or Parmigiano Reggiano and serve immediately.
Pin for Later
If you are interested in learning how to make homemade pasta and other types of gnocchi, check out my shop page for some great video online courses from my friends in Rome! Nothing beats learning to make pasta from Italians! Plus while you’re there why not order a copy of one of my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some recommended pasta making tools?
I am so impressed with this recipe.
The texture of the dough is sublime, this is a wonderful example of Italian food. How it is both so simple yet so elegant.
Thankyou for sharing this, it’s been a pleasure making it
Hi Pauline, thank you for your comment/review. I’m happy that you liked this ofelle recipe. I think this type of ravioli is so good. I want to make more of them!
Renz Carreon says
Hello, i tried using your gnocchi pasta dough recipe using frozen fries. I used the same amount and I blanched them for 2 minutes in boiling water. However, they turned out too wet. I just used 500g frozen potato fries and went up until 1400-1500g in flour just to reach a dough like consistency. Any recommendations?
Hi Renz, thanks for your comment. I’ve never made this gnocchi ravioli using frozen fries so I’m not sure what to recommend except to make them with normal potatoes.
Kathleen Lacny says
Came upon this when googling Gnocchi Ravioli and I must say I was a bit surprised when you did not mention that you must have been inspired by Lidia Bastianich.
Dear Kathleen thanks for your comment which I must say I was surprised by! I live in Italy and all the recipes on my site are authentic Italian recipes that I find using Italian language cookbooks or recipe sites or through eating the dishes in restaurants or Italian homes throughout the country. I don’t look to Italian-American chefs/food gurus for inspiration. I admire Lidia Bastianich but she’s not a source for me. Italy is my inspiration and sharing authentic Italian pasta recipes with those who may not know them is my goal.
Sonja Oudhoff says
being a ravioli and gnocchi lover (I make both on a regular basis) the combination of both is intriguing and will make the Ofelle asap.
I am wondering however, why the yeast? (something I don’t use while making ravioli OR gnocchi)
Hi Sonja, thanks for your comment. I’m happy you’d like to try these ofelle. There are some very old types of pasta that were made with bread dough and that’s what I believe ofelle originally was. I haven’t actually found ofelle specifically described in that way. So for now it’s just my opinion. But there are other pasta types made with yeast or bread dough that I want to try such as cecamariti from Lazio.
Sonja Oudhoff says
I have made the recipe today, but without meat. I baked half (they turned out like “hand pies” and I will use the recipe to make things like pizza pockets) and the other half were cooked as per instructions. both are excellent and thank you for posting it
Corina Blum says
I hadn’t come across potato ravioli before but I love trying new things and this is such a tasty looking recipe. It also looks very warming and filling which would be perfect for the cold weather right now!
Brian Jones says
Ok… Now my brain is doing backflips… The idea of making ravioli from gnocchi dough is genius, I must make this!
Lizet Flores de Bowen says
I love potato gnocchi. I’ve made them a few times. I’m sure our Paraguayan recipe is different from an Italian one, but they are so delicious!
I would love to try this gnocchi/ravioli. Pinning for later.
Talk about comfort food. I didn’t know you could make ravioli from a potato/gnocchi dough. I’d love to try these!
Brilliant recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try!
That is fascinating, I’ve never heard if gnocchi ravioli before. I can’t wait to try my hand at this soon.
Danielle Wolter says
I have GOT to start making my own pasta. This looks just incredible. I’ve never heard of this type of pasta, but I love ravioli and gnocchi, so it’s got to be a winner!
Ok so gnocchi and ravioli are like my two favorite things! This recipe called my name from afar haha Love it!
Oh my! Gnocci ravioli?? Sounds too good to be true! I have to try this. We love to make raviolis but have never made anything like these. Delicioso!
Homemade pasta from scratch is the best and nothing can beat it! I must try this dish when my dad comes, he would absolutely love it so we can enjoy it together. I make something like this but filled with cheese boil them and add a bit of creme fraiche and sugar – it is a sweet one but this appeals to me so much. Beautiful dish Jacqui, I cannot wait to make it. It looks incredible.
Sabrina Borda says
This is a stunning recipe. You are going to help me push my limits with this one! I can’t wait.
Thanks so much dear Sabrina! I’m thrilled you like this recipe and want to try it. I hope you’ll let me know how it turns out!
michele h peterson says
I love ravioli and gnocchi so this recipe sounds perfect for me! I’ve just started exploring Italian cuisine and am amazed by all the regional ingredients and variations. This dish is a beauty
Thank you Michele! Yes this dish is special! There’s so much variety in Italian cuisine. Even just in the pasta! I am still learning about new recipes and ingredients even after 15 years living here!
Tawnie Kroll says
Love making pasta from scratch, this recipe looks SOOO good!!
I love making my own pasta too Tawnie! I hope you’ll try this one out. It’s quite unusual and really delicious!
Jacque Hastert says
This sounds right up my alley! Pinning this for next weeks menu.
Thanks Jacque! I’m sure you’ll love this dish. It’s quite unique and superlicious!
Wow! These look amazing! My family loves gnocchi so I am positive they would love Gnocchi Ravioli!!!
Grazie Juli! These gnocchi ravioli are great. They look like ravioli but taste like gnocchi! I’m sure your family would love them!
This pasta recipe sounds so interesting! Love the flavor combinations!
Thanks so much Annissa! Yes this is a very interesting dish. Ravioli that taste like gnocchi! The filling is yummy too!