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Campanian Cannariculi fried rolled dough
Cannariculi (Campanian Christmas rolled fried dough, using white wine, cinnamon and cloves)
Originated from: Campania, Italy
Occasion: Christmas holidays and Carnival
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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For dough
Flour "as much as needed" [about 1 kilo or 5 cups of flour]
1 glass [about 6 ounces] of dry white wine
1 glass [about 6 ounces] of oil
1/2 glass [about 3 ounces] of water
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 to 1 teaspoon ground cloves, depending on one's taste
3 tablespoons sugar [optional]
Zest of 1 blood orange or the zest of a regular orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melted lard (about 1/4 cup)

For deep frying
Vegetable oil or lard

For decoration
2 to 3 cups honey
Multi-colored sprinkles (optional)


o Heat up the oil, wine and water.

o Remove from heat and add the cinnamon, ground cloves, vanilla and the zest of a blood orange (Or a regular orange). Mix well.

o On a floured wooden board make a mound of flour. In it, make a well, and then mix the wet ingredients with the flour.

o Work into a fine malleable dough.

o Knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.

o Divide the dough into two.

o Shape each portion of dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in a container.

o Let the dough rest for 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 Place each square of dough on a floured "gnocchi board" and press firmly to get indentations.

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.).


This recipe comes up a number of times on Campanian internet cooking sites, though it also shows up on sites that represent Calabrian cuisine. It seems this style of cannariculi is done in both areas. Photo: Mary Melfi.

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