Home Italy Revisited Bookshelf Plays About Mary Melfi Contact Us
Frugal Man's Fiadone con Formaggio (Savory sharp cheese baked Molisani pastries, using Caciocavallo cheese and Parmesan)
Originated from: Molise, Italy
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

Printer Friendly Version


Fiadone con Formaggio+

For dough*
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
5 extra large eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For a sharp cheese filling (frugal version)
1 1/2 cups caciocavallo, coarsely grated
1 cup Parmesan, grated
2 extra large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)

For egg wash
1 egg yolk, beaten

*Makes 2 medium-sized fiadone

+*Fiadone (singular) or fiadoni (plural) were originally known as "hiaune," "h'iatun'," "hiadone" and "sciatun" in the Molise countryside. However tourist brochures from this region now refer to them as "fiadone." On the world-wide web this style of cheese pastry has many different names, including: fiadone con formaggio, fiadone al formaggio, fiadone di formaggio, fiadoni con formaggio, fiadoni al formaggio, fiadoni di formaggio and fiatoni.


Mix flour, salt, eggs and oil together, working into a firm but malleable dough. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into two parts.

Form into balls, wrap with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a cool place for about 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile make the filling, making sure the beaten eggs are nicely blended with the cheese (Mixture shouldn't be runny).

Roll out the first part of the dough to between 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick.

Using an 8-inch soup plate or an 9-inch dinner plate for measurement cut out a large circular pastry panel.*

Spread half the mixture onto the circular panel.

Fold over and seal the edges with a fork (Or, one can make decorative edges by pressing the side of a serrated pastry wheel cutter against the dough -- not once around the 3/4-inch edge, but three times).

Place the fiadone on a well-greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.

Make a decorative air vent on the top of the fiadone.

Brush the top of the fiadone with beaten egg yolk.

Repeat the steps for the remaining dough ball.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees F oven until a light golden brown -- about 25 minutes.

Cool. Store in fridge.

Cut into slices before serving.

*A smaller plate will produce a fiadone that looks nicer, in the sense that the depth of the pastry is much higher, unfortunately one runs the risk of having too much stuffing, which in some cases can leak out and cause the pastry to open up during the cooking process, making the stuffing less pleasant to the palette and to the eye. On the other hand smaller-sized fiadone take less effort -- if one wants to make them, one simply reduces the amount of stuffing used. The amount used is important, however, as getting just the right height (or the right look) will generally indicate whether or not the fiadone is guest-friendly. More often than not if a fiadone doesn't look good, it's unlikely it will taste the way it should (Nonna-style).


Fiadone are relatively expensive to make as the recipe calls for large portions of quality cheeses. Using caciocavallo and cheap Parmesan cuts down the cost. Using mozzarella instead of caciocavallo brings down the cost even more, but one runs the risk of getting a baked fiadone stuffing that looks and tastes like tofu (a bad thing as the inside of a fiadone should look a bit like Swiss cheese -- airy!). Lowering the cost for traditional foods does not do much for taste, but it can please those with a frugal bent. For the most authentic traditional Molisani-style fiadone check out Sue Alferi's recipe on this website. Incidentally, prior to World War II, fiadone were traditionally served at the end of the Easter meal, as part of the dessert. Nowadays, they're often being served not only at the start of the meal as entrees, but even before that -- just after the guests have removed their coats, have a drink, and have not yet been seated at the table for the main meal. How things change. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

Back to main list