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Calabrian Calabrese cannariculi fried rolled dough
Cannariculi (Calabrian Christmas rolled fried pastry dough, using flour and vino cotto; brushed with honey)
Originated from: Calabria, Italy
Occasion: Christmas holidays and Carnival
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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Original Calabrese cannariculi recipe by weight
For the dough
400 grams (about 14 ounces) flour (Finest grade, "OO")
Vino Cotto (as much as needed)
A pinch of salt

For deep frying
Olive oil

For decoration
100 gr (about 3 1/2 ounces) multi colored sprinkles ("confetti colorati")


o On a floured wooden board make a mound of flour.

o Make a well in the flour, and add as much vino cotto as is needed to make a fine malleable dough.

o Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into two portions.

o Shape portions into balls, and then wrap them in plastic wrap.

o Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for about half an hour.

o After the dough has rested (This will make the dough more malleable) remove the plastic wrap from one portion, and roll it out to about 1/8 inch thickness. One can either use a rolling pin, or one can use a pasta maker (Using a pasta maker will facilitate the process, and improve the changes of success.).

o Let the second portion of dough rest in its container, while the first half is being processed, as it's easiest to work with a fresh dough. The longer the dough air-dries the harder it will be to cut and shape.

o On a floured wooden board, using a 2 inch cookie cutter cut out squares of dough. One can either cut out the squares with a sharp knife, or use a serrated pastry cutter.

o Sprinkle flour on a thin tube the size of a pencil (Or if one is not available, a pencil can be used instead).

o Place the floured tube (or floured pencil) on one of the squares, and starting at one of the corners, roll out on the diagonal to form a pastry roll (The end result should look like a miniature cannoli pastry tube).

o Pinch the last corner of the square to the dough rolled around the tube (or pencil).

o Remove the tube (or pencil) from the rolled out dough.

o Flour the tube (or pencil) again and continue making the cannariculi until the first portion of dough is processed.

o Repeat the steps for the second portion of dough.

o Heat oil for deep frying.

o Fry small batches of cannariculi at a time, turning them over to get an even color, until they are golden (If they brown too much, they'll taste burnt). Don't be surprised if a few cannariculi come apart. They shouldn't, but sometimes they do, in which case they are still good enough to eat, though not perhaps good enough for "demanding" guests. In any case, once the dough has fried and is even in color, remove with a slotted spoon.

o Place the cannariculi on a container, and then far from the heating element (to avoid a fire), place them on another container that is lined with kitchen paper towels to usurp excess oil.

o Let the fried pastries cool for about a quarter of an hour.

o Place the honey in a medium-sized pan and heat at low temperature (This thins out the honey and makes it easier to spread on the cannariculi).

o One can either place one or two cannariculi at a time in the pan and coat the entire cookie in honey (Many first-generation Italians do this), or one can dip the top half of the cannariculi in the warmed-up honey. The third alternative is to drizzle the warmed up honey on the cannariculi that are placed on a large container, noting that a lot of the honey will drip onto the container (So might look a bit messy). A fourth alternative is to use a silicon pastry brush and brush the cannariculi with the warmed up honey (A lot less honey is used if one uses this fourth alternative).

o Sprinkle some multi-colored sprinkles on the cannariculi.

o Let the honey-coated cannariculi rest for about half an hour, then transfer them to the actual serving platter that has been lightly greased or oiled (This prevents them from sticking) or one can line the platter with parchment paper that has been lightly oiled). Do not place too many cannariculi on top of each other as they might get stuck together.

o Keep in the fridge until needed.

o Remove from the fridge a half an hour before serving to guests (The fritters taste best at room temperature, and they also test best the same day they are made.).


The above recipe for cannariculi appears over and over and over again on the internet in Italian. The ingredients and directions are rather vague. I suppose it's assumed that everyone knows how to do this fritter. On the Italian net this recipe is always described as being traditional and coming from Calabria. I suspect there are actually hundreds of variations, they're just not on the net.... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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