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Cagionetti Caggiunitti Calgionetti
Calgionetti/Caggiunitti (Abruzzesi Christmas fritters filled with chestnut puree, chocolate, almonds and candied fruit)
Originated from: Abruzzo
Occasion: Christmas holidays
Contributed by: Adapted from an Italian cookbook published in the 1980s; Italian Wikipedia notes

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For the dough
1 1/2 cups flour
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted (then cooled)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder

For the filling
1/2 pound of chestnuts (about 1 1/2 cups pureed chestnuts)**
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, grated
1/8 cup candied fruit, finely chopped
1/4 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon lest

For frying
about 2 cups vegetable oil

For decoration
Table sugar (optional)

**1 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas (pureed) can be used instead of chestnuts

*Yield: about a dozen fritters.


Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together.

Mix the egg, milk and butter together.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones and work into a malleable soft dough (Add a touch more flour if the dough is too sticky; add a touch more milk if it is too dry.)

Form the dough into a ball.

Wrap with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for about 1/2 an hour.

Meanwhile score the chestnuts.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and boil the chestnuts until soft -- about 20 minutes.

Drain, and peel the chestnuts.

Put the boiled chestnuts through a sieve.

Place the sieved chestnuts in a bowl, add the grated chocolate, candied fruit, almonds, honey and lemon zest. Mix well.

On a lightly floured wooden board, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.

Cut strips of dough about 3 to 4 inches wide and about 7 inches long.

Place a thin layer of filling on each strip.

Seal each strip together, forming a long stuffed log, and then shape the stuffed log into a donut-style fritter.

Heat the vegetable oil.

Fry one or two at a time until golden on both sides.

Drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle table sugar (optional).

Serve warm.


The following text comes from the Italian Wikipedia (Google Machine translation): "Christmas dessert similar to sweet ravioli, the dough is made with flour, olive oil and white wine. The filling is made from chickpeas, cocoa, cooked must, cinnamon and orange peel; the sweet is fried, and in the area of Teramo Montorio al Vomano the filling is made from chestnut paste, chopped almonds, dark chocolate, lemon zest, rum, honey, cinnamon; in Ortona Chieti instead the filling is made ​​from a mixture of black Montepulciano grape jam, almonds and toasted walnuts and ground cinnamon and cocoa ..... " Original Italian text: "Cagionetti, calgionetti, caggiunitt', caggionetti, caviciunette: Dolce natalizio simile ad un raviolo, con impasto di farina, olio e vino bianco. Il ripieno è composto da ceci, cacao, mosto cotto, cannella e bucce di arancio che viene fritto; nella zona di Teramo e di Montorio al Vomano il ripieno è composto da pasta di castagne, mandorle tritate, cioccolata fondente, buccia di limone, rum, miele, cannella; ad Ortona e Chieti invece il ripieno è composto da un impasto di marmellata di uva nera di Montepulciano, mandorle e noci tostate e macinate, cannella e cacao....." N.B. tried this recipe and found it a lot harder to do than the usual crescent-shaped Abruzzesi Christmas fritter. First of all, it's hard to seal thin strips of dough that has a filling on them, and second of all, turning those stuffed strips of dough into attractive, donut-shaped fritters requires a lot of patience and a bit of talent. It wouldn't surprise me if the shape of this sweet fritter is specific to a particular area (possibly Teramo, Abruzzo). Those who grew up with this style of fritter in their homes will undoubtedly want to continue the tradition, but anyone else might consider twice before doing it. The filling is pleasant enough, but shaping it, takes a great deal of effort. Obviously, the dough and filling used to make cagionetti, can be used to make any kind of sweet ravioli -- round-shaped, horseshoe-shaped and rectangular-shaped. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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