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la pizzicata
La Pizzicata (Sicilian sweet fritters, dough balls without yeast, flavored with orange and lemon zest; coated with honey)
Originated from: Sicily, Italy
Occasion: Christmas and Carnival
Contributed by: Anna-Maria Benvenuto

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For dough
300 grams (about 10 1/2 ounces) of white flour
3 eggs
50 grams (about 1 2/3 ounces) sugar
50 grams (about 1 2/3 ounces) of lard
a pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon

100 grams (about 3 1/2 ounces) of candied citron, finely chopped
50 grams (about 1 2/3 ounces) candied orange peel, finely chopped

Vegetable oil for frying

For coating
Orange blossom honey
Finely grated zest of 1 orange


Mix the flour, eggs, sugar, lard, salt and zest of 1 lemon.

Work the dough until it is soft and malleable (and a touch of water if necessary).

Let the dough rest for half an hour.

Add the candied citron and orange peel to the dough. Mix well until evenally distributed.

Make a long log.

Take small pieces of the dough, and shape them into tiny balls using the palms of your hands (about a centimeter in diameter each).

Fry a few dough balls at a time in hot oil till golden.

Drain on absorbent paper.

Warm up the honey and add the orange zest to it.

Place the dough balls in the honey and remove.


Serve on a decorative plate.


Mrs. Anna-Maria Benvenuto has collected hundreds of recipes from relatives, friends, and neighbors over the years. She recorded the recipes in Italian in numerous notebooks, often naming the recipe after the person who gave it to her. Mrs. Anna-Maria Benvenuto also copied recipes from Italian cookbooks, magazines and newspapers. The recipe in this entry was found in an Italian cookbook published in the early 1970s. Being an avid baker Mrs. Benvenuto tried out many of the recipes herself. However, because of her enormous talent and expertise, she did not feel the need to write detailed instructions as she knew how to make the recipes without them. However, when asked by this website's archivist (Mary Melfi) for details, she quickly volunteered the information. Nonetheless, as with most first generation Italian-Canadian handwritten recipes, it is understood that whoever attempts to duplicate them should have some knowledge of what they are doing.... Photo: Mary Melfi

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