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Sfinge di Ricotta
Saint Joseph Fritters/Sfinge di Ricotta (without yeast; flavored with vanilla, drizzled with honey)
Originated from: Sicily, Italy
Occasion: The Feast Day of Saint Joseph
Contributed by: Taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010)

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1 pound whole milk Ricotta, well drained
6 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour

vegetable oil for frying
confectioners sugar for dusting
1 cup honey


With an electric mixer, beat ricotta on low.

Slowly add eggs and sguar, a little at a time.

Blend until smooth.

Add vanilla.

Slowly add flour and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches, and heat to 350 degrees F.

When hot, drop batter by rounded teaspoon into oil

Turn sfinge and fry until centers are done and golden brown on both sides.

Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on paper towels to drain.

Continue frying until all batter is used.

Place on a large serving platter.

Once fritters are fried, sprinkle with confectioners sugar, and drizzle with honey.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Note: Do not substitute all-purpose flour nor skim or low-fat ricotta.

YIELD: 4 to 5 dozen.


This recipe was taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010) with the expressed permission of the author, an award-winning Italian-American chef and owner of "Rizzo's Malabar Inn." "Rizzo's Malabar Inn" is located in southwestern Pennsylvania (126 Rizzo Road, Crabtree, Salem Township). The food served at this restaurant, a local landmark dating back to the 1920s, reflects the culinary traditions of Abruzzo and Molise. Rizzi DeFabo notes in his cookbook that "These delightfully delicious Sicilian fritters are served for the Saint Joseph's Feast. They are very light and fluffy...." Photo: Mary Melfi.

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