Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba. Sweet Ravioli from Friuli.

Also sometimes called agnolotti di Pontebba, these prune and fig cjarsons (cjalsons) are a traditional sweet ravioli from the town of Pontebba in Friuli Venezia Giulia, near the border with Austria. This is one of many types of cjarsons typical in this part of Italy, particularly the Alpine mountain area of Carnia in Friuli.

Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba Sweet Ravioli from Friuli Venezia Giulia

Different kinds of cjarsons.

Cjarsons can be very rich and elaborate or simpler like these sweet ravioli from Pontebba. Some recipes have a lot of ingredients in the filling which is traditionally a combination of sweet and savoury. In fact, the filling differs from town to town or even village to village! 

Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba

The dough differs too. In some places, it’s made with just flour and water. In others, it includes potatoes, like gnocchi. Sometimes it has eggs in it, but often not.

ingredients for prune and fig cjarsons

Cjarsons also have an interesting history. They have long been a way for Friulian housewives to use up leftover spices and other ingredients. However, in many places they are a special dish served on village feast days, religious holidays like Christmas Eve and at weddings. You can read more about this unique filled pasta in my post about cjarsons.

fresh ricotta in white bowl and chopped prunes and figs in white bowl

These prune and fig cjarsons from Pontebba.

The dough for these prune and fig cjarsons from Pontebba does have an egg in it. I first found this recipe in a wonderful book I got for Christmas. It’s an English version of an Italian cookbook called La Cucina, The Regional Cooking of Italy, published by the Italian Academy of Cooking (L’Accademia Italiana della Cucina).

filling for prune and fig cjarsons in white bowl

This book was definitely one of my favourite Christmas presents. Of course, there are lots of other recipes in it, not just pasta (2,000 in all). However, the pasta section is pretty extensive! I’ll definitely be sharing lots of pasta recipes from it in the future!

cutting pasta discs from rolled out pasta dough

My hubby and I spent a Sunday recently making fresh pasta, including these prune and fig cjarsons di Pontebba. I love it when he helps me! Two pairs of hands are definitely better than one when it comes to making filled fresh pasta.

fresh pasta dough discs with prune and fig filling in the centre

Not that I can’t do it alone, but it certainly goes much faster when there are two of you! Having said that we also made a baked fish ravioli with a seafood sauce! Also from the above mentioned book and absolutely fabulous!

prune and fig cjarsons ready to be cooked

When to serve these sweet ravioli from Friuli

As far as I could ascertain, cjarsons are normally eaten either as a first course (primo), like other pasta here in Italy, or as part of a celebration. Some of the very sweet versions are eaten as dessert. I think these prune and fig cjarsons would be a fabulous and unusual dessert! However, you can choose how you want to serve them.

prune and fig cjarsons di Pontebba (sweet ravioli)

The ingredients for cjarsons di Pontebba.

For the pasta dough, you need 250g Italian soft wheat 00 flour. But, you can also use all-purpose flour.  Apart from the flour the dough contains some water, salt and an egg. We used a pasta machine to roll out the dough sheets and then cut circles in it using a round pastry cutter. We mixed the dough in my Ferrari stand mixer. Traditionally, everything would be done by hand and it’s not so difficult but takes longer!

close up of halved prune and fig cjarson (sweet ravioli)

The filling for these sweet ravioli from Friuli contains fresh ricotta, which has been well drained, as well as boiled prunes and dried figs. Just chop the boiled figs and prunes and mix them into the ricotta with a bit of sugar. I used brown sugar as I far prefer the flavour to white.

Prune and fig cjarsons di Pontebba (sweet ravioli)

These prune and fig cjarsons di Pontebba are served with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. However, many types of cjarsons are dressed with smoked ricotta too.  I’m not sure how well the latter would go with these cjarsons.

Prune and fig cjarsons (sweet ravioli)

Until now, I haven’t tried a lot of sweet pasta but these cjarsons from Pontebba really gave me a taste for more. They are so so delicious! I’m sure if you try them, you’ll think the same!

If you make this sweet ravioli recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out and if you liked it. So, please leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Buon appetito!

Other pasta recipes from Friuli Venezia Giulia.

  1. Gnocchi ravioli from Trieste
  2. Tagliolini with prosciutto di San Daniele
  3. Cinnamon spiced pork ragu with tagliatelle
Prune and fig cjarsons (sweet ravioli)

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5 from 23 votes
Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba (sweet ravioli from Friuli)
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
15 mins

These traditional Northern Italian sweet ravioli are a unique and delicious way to serve pasta. These cjarsons are filled with prunes, figs and ricotta and served with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar!

Course: Dessert, Homemade Pasta
Cuisine: Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italian, Northern Italy
Keyword: cjalsons, Cjarsons, ravioli, ricotta, sweet pasta, sweet ravioli
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
To make filling
  • 100 g dried prunes (3.5oz)
  • 100 g dried figs (3.5oz)
  • 250 g fresh ricotta (8-9oz)
  • 1 tbsp sugar I used brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
For pasta dough
  • 250 g Italian '00' soft wheat flour (8-9oz) or All-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 100ml tepid water (3floz)
Make the dough
  1. Put the flour in a mound on a pastry board or in your stand mixer, add the egg, the water and the salt. Mix and knead until you have a homogeneous dough that is only slightly sticky to touch. Form the dough into a ball and leave it to rest for 20-30 minutes covered with a tea towel or covered in plastic wrap.

Make the filling
  1. In the meantime, in a pan full of hot water, blanch the prunes and dried figs for a few minutes until they are soft, then drain them, chop them quite small. You can use a food processor for this. Then mix the dried fruit with the ricotta and sugar. Add a pinch of salt.

Make and cook your cjarsons (sweet ravioli)
  1. Roll the dough into thin sheets a couple of millimeters thick with a rolling pin or with the help of a pasta machine. Cut out discs of 4 or 6 centimeters in diameter (1.5-2") using a round pastry cutter or a glass. Keep your pastry board floured while you are making the ravioli so the dough doesn't stick to the board.

  2. In the middle of each pasta disc place a little of the previously prepared filling. (about a large teaspoonful). Then wet around the edges with a little water using your finger. Close the discs into half-moons. Press the edges with your fingertips or a fork.

  3. Let the cjarsons rest for about 20 minutes while you boil salted water to cook them.

  4. Cook the sweet ravioli in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain them with the help of a slotted spoon so that they do not break, place them directly on the plates and season with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon

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  • Avatar
    January 22, 2020 5:05 pm

    Wow, I really must try this combination. Asa kid my mum used to make them with cheese and we would eat them with crème fraiche and a little sprinkle of sugar – delicious. I really love prunes and will make these ravioli. Mmmmmm yummm.

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    January 22, 2020 10:24 am

    This sweet ravioli is delicious! I love anything fig these days!

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    Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness
    January 20, 2020 10:14 pm

    This combo is completely new to me, but I am so curious to try it! On my to-do list 🙂

  • Avatar
    January 20, 2020 3:18 pm

    What a delicious treat! My mother LOVES sweet pasta dishes so I will definitely have to share this one with her! YUM!

  • Avatar
    January 20, 2020 10:14 am

    This looks so good! I though at first it was ravioli. Never heard of cjarsons di pontebba. Sweet ravioli sounds and looks absolutely delicious!

  • Avatar
    January 20, 2020 5:28 am

    At first I wasn’t sure if these were perogies or ravioli…. but my stomach told me to keep reading lol! Never heard of a dessert ravioli but I’m intrigued!

  • Avatar
    Jenni LeBaron
    January 20, 2020 12:09 am

    I have never seen a pasta with prunes in it, but the combination of those with the figs and ricotta sounds delightful. I would be very interested to try this sweet + salty dish!

  • Avatar
    January 19, 2020 5:55 pm

    Definitely unique and unusual, but worth a try. I don’t eat prunes often, so this is a good way to add them in more.

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    January 19, 2020 5:39 pm

    One thing I have never tried before is a sweet ravioli. I loooove savoury ravioli so I can only imagine how much I will love these!

  • Avatar
    January 18, 2020 6:12 pm

    I have never had sweet ravioli, but I want to try it now. Yours looks so delicious and full of flavors!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:03 pm

      Thank you, Denise. Try it, I am sure you will love it!

  • Avatar
    January 18, 2020 5:04 pm

    The prune, fig and ricotta is such a wonderful combination. Really tasty little appetizer to serve for dinner parties with friends.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:04 pm

      Thank you, Amber. It would be great for a dinner party with friends 🙂

  • Avatar
    Marisa F. Stewart
    January 17, 2020 9:44 pm

    I was born near Trieste and I remember my mamma making filled sweet gnocchi. I haven’t made sweet gnocchi or ravioli in years. You’ve inspired me to go ahead and do it. I wish I could make these dishes for my mamma and papà. Thank you for the lovely recipes and inspiration.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:07 pm

      That is so beautiful, Marisa. I hope when you make them, it brings back even more lovely memories for you ❤️

  • Avatar
    Amy Dong
    January 17, 2020 5:17 pm

    I heard ravioli is delicious but never tried to taste it. I will definitely try making this recipe and I will make sure that it will turn out perfectly by following the procedure.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:07 pm

      You must try it, Amy! I guarantee you will love it!

  • Avatar
    January 17, 2020 10:14 am

    I love your recipes, I get fun new things to try and a little glimpse into a different food culture! This was fantastic, I’d never had sweet pasta, but it’s a serious addiction now!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:09 pm

      Thank you, Mikayla! I am glad you love it!

  • Avatar
    January 16, 2020 5:14 pm

    I never had sweet Ravioli, but the ingredients in this are surely tempting me to try. With Figs, prunes and ricotta it is a nice medley of flavours.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:10 pm

      Thank you, Renu. It is a beautiful combination!

  • Avatar
    Jere Cassidy
    January 16, 2020 2:40 am

    I have never had a sweet ravioli but this Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba looks amazing.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:10 pm

      Thank you, Jere! You will not regret it once you try it!

  • Avatar
    Lesli Schwartz
    January 14, 2020 9:00 pm

    What a terrific combo of sweet flavors for this ravioli! I don’t think I’ve ever had sweet ravioli before!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:12 pm

      Thank you, Lesli. If you try it, I am sure you will love it.

  • Avatar
    Jacque Hastert
    January 14, 2020 4:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing the authentic recipe that is easy enough to make at home.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:13 pm

      Glad you like it, Jacque. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    January 14, 2020 10:44 am

    This is so interesting! Never seen anything quite like it. It is such a wonderful and comforting dessert for the cold months of the year!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:15 pm

      Thank you, Stine! It is perfect for the colder months (or any time really!)

  • Avatar
    Chef Dennis
    January 14, 2020 9:02 am

    Hmm yum! I’ve never had this before but this Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba looks really delicious and it’s making me crave right now!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:17 pm

      Thank you, Dennis!

  • Avatar
    January 13, 2020 10:07 pm

    Love this sweet and salty pasta. So delicious~

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:18 pm

      Thank you, Michele!

  • Avatar
    Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life
    January 13, 2020 8:50 pm

    I’ve never had ravioli like this before. Yum! The figs are so flavorful!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:19 pm

      Thank you, Marlynn! I hope you try it!

  • Avatar
    Jessica Formicola
    January 13, 2020 8:44 pm

    I love anything with figs, and these look amazing! I can’t wait to try my hand at these this week!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:20 pm

      Thank you, Jessica. If you love figs, I am sure you will love these.

  • Avatar
    January 13, 2020 8:35 pm

    I’ve never had anything like this recipe before – looks like quite the culinary treat!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:21 pm

      Thank you, Jessica! These are a treat, but absolutely doable at home!

  • Avatar
    January 13, 2020 7:35 pm

    The perfect amount of sweet and salty.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      January 18, 2020 11:22 pm

      Thank you, Stephanie!

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