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Calcioni Pasta: Everything About the Shape

When in Italy, you cannot skip trying the different varieties of pasta. Pasta is well-loved across the globe, and chefs are now inventing unique and creative recipes. While Asian countries have noodles, Italians are proud of their variety of pasta. One of the much-loved varieties has to be Calcioni. 

Calcioni hails from Italy’s Marche region. It has a pillowy ravioli shape with savoury or sweet fillings. Once filled with your favourite stuffing, the calcionis are baked or deep-fried to pure perfection. Locals call it, ‘ravioli di San Giuseppe’ or the ‘ravioli dolce’ and these are best enjoyed as a starter dish. 

Here’s an article that sheds light on the meaning and origin of calcioni. We will also give you a quick comparison of Calcioni and Ravioli along with a few traditional dishes that use this type of pasta. Let’s get started! 

Calcioni: Origin and Meaning

Calcioni Fact Sheet:

Pasta Shape:Half Moon 
Pasta Type:Filled Pasta 
Diameter: 8 cm to 10 cm 
Origin: Marche
Meaning: A hard kick or a strong recommendation 
Synonyms: Cacui, Raviolo, Calcione col sugo 
Similar Shapes:Ravioli, Mezzelune

Where did Calcioni originate?

Calcioni originated from the Marche, and it’s a speciality in Treia. Locals call it Raviolo, Cacui, and Calcione col Sugo. 

Savoury calcioni is a popular springtime dish with fillings like herbs, ham, eggs, and ricotta cheese, and the sweet variant has ricotta, eggs, sugar, and lemon zest. 

People from different regions have now started using different ingredients to create their version of Calcioni.

What Does Calcioni mean?

Calcioni is an Italian word, and although it sounds pleasant to the ears, the meaning is quite contradictory. 

Calcione means a hard kick or a strong recommendation. The word does not refer to the shape of the pasta nor does it have any reference to food. 

What Is the Difference Between Calcioni and Ravioli? 

Calcionis may look like ravioli, but they are deep-fried pastry parcels. Raviolis are served with a sauce or a broth. The sauce is either thick and creamy or might have a tangy tomato kick. Raviolis are also stuffed, but the fillings are savoury and not sweet. 

Traditionally, ravioli is filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, and ricotta. Even calcionis have ricotta cheese, but the biggest difference is that ravioli are not deep-fried. Calcionis don’t need a broth or a sauce, unlike Ravioli pasta. 

Raviolis are served as a main course dish, but you may also serve them as a side dish. Calcionis, if sweet, can be the perfect dessert.

Traditional dishes that use Calcioni 

Marche’s cuisine mostly revolves around deep-fried food such as fried seasoned veggies, fritto misto, and stuffed fried olives. Calcioni looks like ravioli, but it can be prepared using different fillings. 

Here are a few traditional recipes you can make with Calcioni: 

  1. The locals fill the pastry dough pouch with lemon peel and sweet ricotta, and once fried, these are tossed in lemon zest and honey. The sweet filling oozes out and melts in your mouth when you take the first bite. 
  1. Another traditional sweet Calcioni dish is filled with Pecorino, eggs, sugar, ricotta, grated rind, and lemon juice. Half-moon calcionis, regardless of what fillneedou put in, needs to be baked for about 20-22 minutes till they are golden brown. 
  1. Finally, you can use ham, eggs, ricotta cheese, and herbs to make the filling for a savoury Calcioni. 

Final Thoughts 

Calcioni is a unique dish, and even though the half-moon shape reminds you of ravioli, this pasta has a distinct flavour profile. 

Pay attention to how you serve it, and feel free to make it savoury or sweet. Let the chef in you take over! 

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