Zlikrofi from Idrija Valley

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Chef Alessandro Gavagna's zlikrofi recipe is an Italian take on the classic dish from Slovenia, which is only a short hop over the border from the chef's home in Friuli. Fresh pasta can overcook very easily, so make sure you remove the dumplings from the water when they are still firm to the touch to ensure they are cooked perfectly and not soggy.

First published in 2016







  • 200g of veal stock
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 tbsp of 00 flour
  • vegetable stock, as needed
  • salt


  • Pasta machine


To make the dough, place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the eggs, mix to combine and knead vigorously for at least 15 minutes
Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours
For the filling, heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onion, lardo and pancetta and cook until the pancetta is crispy. Add the potatoes and mix well until a coarse purée is achieved. Leave to cool
  • 30g of butter
  • 30g of lardo
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 50g of pancetta
  • 400g of potatoes, boiled and chopped
Once cooled, add the egg yolks, salt, pepper, marjoram, chives and grated Montasio cheese. Roll the mix into 10g balls and place in the fridge to set
For the sauce, bring the veal stock to the boil and whisk in the butter and flour. Season to taste with salt. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of vegetable stock
  • 200g of veal stock
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 tbsp of 00 flour
  • salt, to season
  • vegetable stock, as needed
Roll out the pasta dough on a pasta machine to the lowest setting. Lie the sheet of pasta on the work surface and place the balls at 5cm intervals
Moisten one edge of the pasta and fold it over, sealing at the sides of each ball and at the top. Cut through the pasta between each ball to give individual pieces. Make an indentation on the top of each zlikrofi to give a bow shape
Boil the zlikrofi in salted boiling water for 2 minutes then drain in a colander
To serve, place six zlikrofi in each bowl and drizzle over the sauce. Finish with Montasio cheese shavings

Discover more about this region's cuisine:

With a love for the region of Friuli and its ingredients, Alessandro Gavagna's unique food is a perfect marriage of Italian and Slovenian cuisine.

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