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Frittelle alla Molisani
Frittelle alla Molisana (Fried dough, without yeast, with mosto cotto)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Mrs. Rosina Melfi (as told to her niece, Mary Melfi)

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For batter
12 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
1/2 cup milk*
2 teaspoons Magic baking powder

For frying
about 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For Garnish
about 1 cup Mosto Cotto**

* in the 1950s goat's milk was often used to make this recipe

** in the 1950s "mosto cotto" was generally referred to as "vino cotto"


o Beat eggs

o Add oil and milk. Mix well.

o Add sugar, flour and Magic baking powder (The resulting mixture should look like a pancake batter).

o Heat up oil.

o Pour batter (about 1/4 of a cup) in the frying pan, and cook on both sides until golden.

o Garnish with mosto cotto.


All my life I assumed pancakes to be an all-American dish. How wrong I was! My aunt, Zia Rosina, now tells me that when she was growing up in Molise in the 1930s her mother regularly made pancakes, sometimes for breakfast, and sometimes for lunch. Back then, these pancakes were known as "frittelle." Almost everywhere else in Italy the word, "frittelle," refers to fried yeast dough, but not in Molise (Well, at least not in Casacalenda at the turn of the last century). Back then, mosto cotto (called vino cotto in Molise) was often used to garnish the pancakes. Also, back then cooks often used goat's milk instead of cow's milk as part of the pancake mixture. In fact, my aunt, Zia Rosina, told me that she always used goat's milk to make frittelle and many other types of dolce when she was living in Casacalenda. Prior to World War II most farmers living in the South (including my aunt) owned goats rather than cows. So goat milk was used every which way (It was the drink of choice for toddlers). When my aunt immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s she immediately switched to using cow's milk (rather than goat's milk) for cooking purposes as that what was available in this part of the world.... In any case these frittelle alla Molisani taste as good, if not better, than American-style ones. Photo: Mary Melfi.

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