Piconi Ascolani: Baked Ravioli from Le Marche

Piconi Ascolani: Baked Ravioli from Le Marche.

As I write this post, Easter is less than 3 weeks away. Throughout Italy, cooks and housewives in every region will be starting to prepare the local dishes, snacks, cakes and pastries that are particular to the Easter holiday celebrations. As you can imagine, there are many. These piconi ascolani are a baked ravioli from the Ascoli Piceno province in southern Le Marche, Central Italy, traditionally eaten at Easter.

piconi ascolani baked ravioli from Marche

Easter Ravioli

Unlike other types of ravioli, piconi ascolani are baked in the oven and eaten as a snack or as part of a traditional Easter breakfast with boiled eggs and salumi. Normally, these baked ravioli are not eaten hot. However, I have to say I love them when they are still a bit warm and the cheese inside is soft!

piconi ascolani baked ravioli from Marche

As with many traditional Italian dishes, there is no single recipe for piconi ascolani.  Apparently, every Ascoli family had its own recipe handed down through several generations.  Unfortunately, nowadays, commercial bakeries abound with piconi, so less people make them at home than in the past.  However, I found quite a few recipes for these delicious Easter ravioli.

ingredients for piconi ascolani baked ravioli from Marche

Baked ravioli are, in fact, made throughout Le Marche, but may also be called calcioni, caciunitti, caciuni, ravioli with cheese and ravioli Ascolani. The basic ingredients are the same for all types of these piconi with some differences in the ingredients for the filling and dough. For example, in some places, they put lemon juice or white wine in the dough, others use only pecorino in the filling. One thing is certain, they are called ‘piconi’ because of the typical ‘piccata’ or cut that is made on the top of the ravioli that allows the filling to escape during cooking.

eggs and grated pecorino in white bowl

The filling.

All piconi are filled with a mixture of eggs and cheese. The cheese is traditionally 3 types of pecorino ( fresh, semi mature (12 months) and aged/mature 24 months) all freshly grated. One type of pecorino used for Piconi ascolani in Marche is known as Barzotto. This is usually semi mature, not hard or soft. They say, the best Barzotto is the one produced with milk collected in the months of April and May, when the pastures are rich in fresh and aromatic herbs and fragrant flowers.

filling for piconi ascolani in white bowl

In fact, pecorino is the most produced cheese in Le Marche and there are many different types. However most people outside of the region and Italy can’t find the exact 3 types of pecorino, so many Easter ravioli recipes call for just an equal amount of mature pecorino and Parmigiano. I used a mature pecorino, a semi mature pecorino (not Barzotto) and Parmigiano. The ratio of eggs to cheese in the filling is normally one egg or egg yolk to 100g of cheese.

pasta dough discs with baked ravioli filling in centre

Apart from the eggs and cheese, I added some salt, pepper and lemon zest to the filling. Some people also add nutmeg. This piconi ascolani recipe is from the Ascoli Picena province. In another part of Marche they make them sweet by adding sugar to the filling. These sweet baked ravioli are traditional in Ancona where they are called ‘calcioni’.

uncooked piconi ravioli on wooden board

The dough.

The dough for piconi ascolani is very similar to most fresh egg pasta dough. 100 g of ‘0’ or ‘00’ flour to one egg. The only addition in most recipes is some kind of fat, traditionally lard but many use butter or extra virgin olive oil. I used olive oil and added a pinch of salt. However, there are variations to the dough mixture. As mentioned above, some people add lemon juice or wine. Others may include a bit of sugar or cheese in the dough.

uncooked piconi ascolani on baking paper in oven dish

Making these piconi ascolani.

Piconi ascolani are no more difficult to make than normal ravioli. In fact, the process is the same. The only difference is that once ready, these Easter ravioli are cooked in the oven. This recipe will make about 35 baked ravioli. If you want to make less  just reduce the quantity of ingredients. For example 300g flour and 3 eggs for the dough and 300g cheese and 3 eggs for the filling. However, you may regret that as these baked ravioli from Le Marche are so tasty and moreish, you will probably wish you made more!

uncooked baked ravioli in oven dish

If you do try this piconi ascolani 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!

Buon Appetito!

Other Italian Easter or Spring recipes on The Pasta Project

  1. Lamb lasagna
  2. Sicilian pasta with sardines and wild fennel
  3. Gargati pasta with spring ragu
  4. Poached salmon and asparagus lasagna
  5. Pasta with asparagus
  6. Pasta with fresh peas and pancetta

 

piconi ascolani baked ravioli from Marche

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5 from 23 votes
piconi ascolani baked ravioli from Marche
Piconi Ascolani: baked ravioli from Le Marche
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins
 

These delicious baked ravioli are a typical Easter recipe from Central Italy. Piconi ascolani are not difficult to make and so delicious you will always wish you had made more. Traditionally eaten for Easter breakfast but are great as finger food or antipasto.

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Central Italy, Italian, Le Marche, Marche
Keyword: baked pasta recipe, filled pasta, homemade pasta, Italian food, pasta recipe, pecorino, ravioli
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 400 g '00' flour (14oz) or '0' flour (all purpose)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or 30g (1oz) softened butter or lard
  • 1 pinch salt
For the filling
  • 150 g pecorino (5oz) aged/mature
  • 100 g pecorino (3.5oz) semi-mature
  • 50 g Parmigiano (2oz) grated or in total half pecorino and half Parmigiano
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg beaten to brush ravioli
Instructions
Make the filling
  1. Beat the eggs for at least 5 minutes with the help of a whisk to incorporate air. Grate all the cheese into a separate bowl and then gradually add to the beaten eggs. Add a pinch of salt and a little black pepper plus the lemon zest. 

  2. Mix everything together well until you have a soft dough-like mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest. Some people recommend up to 8 hours in the fridge. Others say for 30 minutes!

Make the dough
  1. Place the flour in the center of a pastry board or in a bowl, add the 4 eggs to the center and with the help of a fork begin to beat the eggs whilst incorporating the flour. Add the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and continue to mix with your hands until you have a ‘dough’. 

  2. If you started in a bowl finish kneading on a floured pasta/pastry board. Continue to knead until you have a homogeneous and elastic dough. (alternatively you can use a dough mixer to make the pasta dough)

  3. Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes to one hour. 

Make the piconi ascolani
  1. Divide the dough into 4-6 pieces. Using a rolling pin or pasta machine roll out a thin sheets of pasta dough (about 1mm thick). Do one piece of dough at a time leaving the rest wrapped in cling film or in a freezer bag so it won’t dry out.

  2. With a pastry cutter, bowl or glass, cut out discs of about 7-9 centimeters in diameter from the dough. Place some egg and cheese filling in the center of each disc. Then fold the disc into a half moon. Cut around the edge of the filled ravioli using a pasta wheel. This will help to seal the edges of the ravioli. 

  3. Place the ravioli on an oil sprayed baking paper sheet in an flat oven dish. Brush the surface of the piconi with the lightly beaten egg and using the tip of a pair of scissors cut a small cross into the centre of the surface.

  4. Bake at 160 ° - 170 ° C in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or at least until golden. Once cooked, leave the baked ravioli to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

  5. Serve as finger food or as part of an antipasto or breakfast spread.

Recipe Notes

This recipe will make about 35 baked ravioli (depending on the size). If you want to make less just reduce the quantity of ingredients. For example 300g flour and 3 eggs for the dough and 300 g and 3 eggs for the filling. However, you may regret that as these baked ravioli from Le Marche are so tasty and moreish, you will probably wish you made more!

You can use just one type of pecorino and Parmigiano for the filling. In which case use half pecorino and half Parmigiano. (200g each)

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piconi ascolani baked ravioli from Le marche

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31 Comments

  • Avatar
    Geetanjali Tung
    April 13, 2019 5:41 am

    Baked ravioli looks and sounds amazing! Especially love the stuffing! A new recipe for me. Always love to learn 🙂

  • Avatar
    Lathiya
    April 12, 2019 11:33 pm

    Baked ravioli looks and sounds amazing. The lemon zest added is sure to enhance the flaavor

  • Avatar
    Maman de sara
    April 9, 2019 1:10 am

    Baked ravioli wow! They look delicious and your post is very informative.

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      April 10, 2019 7:48 am

      Thanks so much Maman de sara! I’m happy you like the post and the baked ravioli! Hope you’ll try them!

  • Avatar
    Mimi
    April 9, 2019 12:39 am

    I have never heard this name before. Definitely something that sounds sooo authentic to me. And you already know that I like experimenting with authentic Italian recipes. Delicious ravioli!

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      April 10, 2019 7:51 am

      Thanks Mimi! I hope you’ll try these baked ravioli, they’re so delicious and actually quite easy to make!

  • Avatar
    April
    April 9, 2019 12:35 am

    Fantastic traditions that are so dear to my heart, too. I like getting ready for the Easter and I always have a big menu of dishes I need to cook. I guess I can squeeze in this delicious pasta recipe, too, this year – it looks incredible!

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      April 10, 2019 7:53 am

      I’m sure your family and guests will enjoy these Piconi Ascolani April! Serve them as part of your Easter breakfast or antipasto!

  • Avatar
    Kari Heron
    April 8, 2019 7:21 pm

    I cannot get my hands on OO flour in Aruba. This would be a really lovely pasta to make from scratch because the shape is pretty easy. Never heard of baked ravioli either. Love pecorino.

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      April 10, 2019 7:57 am

      You can use All Purpose Flour to make these baked ravioli! I read that it’s the same as Italian ‘o’ flour. Or use any flour that says it’s good for pasta on the packet.

  • Avatar
    Sophia
    April 8, 2019 4:48 pm

    Everything you make looks so delicious, and you make it look so easy! These looks amazing!

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      April 10, 2019 7:58 am

      Thank you Sophia! Yes these baked ravioli are quite easy. I hope you’ll try them!

  • Avatar
    Alexis
    April 7, 2019 4:06 am

    Oh goodness, these look absolutely amazing. I love that you are sharing a local dish for the upcoming Easter holiday.

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      April 10, 2019 8:29 am

      Thanks so much Alexis! Yes these baked ravioli are really delicious! I love making traditional holiday food! Don’t you?

  • Avatar
    Jenni LeBaron
    April 7, 2019 2:49 am

    I’ve never tried these before but they sound absolutely delicious! I am also with you, I think these would be perfectly lovely cold but I think I would like them best right out of the oven when the cheese is still a little soft.

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      April 10, 2019 8:31 am

      Thanks Jenni! Piconi ascolani really are delicious. I hope you’ll try them! (warm of course!)

  • Avatar
    Amanda
    April 6, 2019 6:40 pm

    Oh, I’ve never had ravioli prepared this way, but it seems like such a great method for entertaining. And I totally love the idea of ravioli for Easter. These are going on my Easter menu for sure!

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    April 5, 2019 8:45 am

    Baked pasta sounds genius. And I think I’d agree with you that they would be more comforting to eat when they still are a little hot and the cheese is melty. So why do they eat it cold?

  • Avatar
    Kacie Morgan
    April 4, 2019 5:52 pm

    I have never heard of baked ravioli before but it sounds and looks absolutely to die for! Another fabulous recipe, I love your blog more every time I visit! <3

  • Avatar
    Danielle Wolter
    April 4, 2019 2:31 pm

    i want to make these so bad. they sound absolutely incredible! like baked pockets of deliciousness.

  • Avatar
    kim
    April 4, 2019 2:25 pm

    Loving this hearty and delicious family dinner! So easy and tasty!

  • Avatar
    Demeter
    April 4, 2019 2:17 pm

    What a fantastic dish! Love getting to try new dishes and this will be a perfect addition for Easter.

  • Avatar
    Kelly Anthony
    April 4, 2019 1:49 pm

    I’ve never made homemade ravioli but your step by step directions will make making this recipe less scary. I’m excited to cook something new.

  • Avatar
    Rosa
    April 4, 2019 1:15 pm

    I love pasta and can definitely get on board with Easter ravioli! These look great!

  • Avatar
    Gloria | Homemade & Yummy
    April 3, 2019 11:52 pm

    I am such a pasta lover. This looks like a fun and delicious kitchen experiment for the weekend. I got a ravioli press for Christmas and have not used it yet. Looks like the perfect recipe to try it on.

  • Avatar
    Lesli Schwartz
    April 3, 2019 9:16 pm

    Yum! Crispy ravioli! I like the sound of that! Almost like wontons!

  • Avatar
    Matt Ivan
    April 3, 2019 8:38 pm

    Love the texture of the dough paired with the filling!

  • Avatar
    Juli
    April 3, 2019 7:38 pm

    Those look so intriguing, i love the idea of a make ahead cold cheese filled anything!

  • Avatar
    jordin
    April 3, 2019 7:16 pm

    I’ve always struggling with finding the PERFECT Easter dish, and i’ve finally come across one that looks delicious and that the entire family will love. Can’t wait to try this out!

  • Avatar
    SHANIKA
    April 3, 2019 6:55 pm

    I love that you’ve made your own ravioli! Also, love that it’s baked!

  • Avatar
    Andrea Metlika
    April 3, 2019 6:49 pm

    They sound fascinating and look delicious!

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