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Frittelle alla Veneziana, Frittole (Carnival fritters, dough balls, with yeast; flavored with Grappa and pine nuts)
Originated from: Northern Italy/ Veneto
Occasion: Carnival
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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Fritelle or Frittelle alla Veneziana
3 cups flour*
1 large egg
2/3 cup warm water*
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package dry quick rise yeast (2 1/2 teaspoon)
1/8 cup grappa
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins

*Measurement is approximate

Vegetable oil for deep frying
Icing sugar for dusting


1. Warm up water (should be tepid).

2. Place fast acting yeast in the warm water.

3. Let the yeast rest for 10 minutes. If the water foams up, then the yeast is good for use.

4. Beat the eggs.

5. Add the milk to the eggs.

6. In another bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt, pine nuts and raisins.

7. Add the liquid ingredients to the solid ingredients and work into a fine malleable dough (Should resemble a cavetelli dough). If the dough is too soft add more flour, if the dough is too hard, add a touch more milk.

8. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled container with a lid.

9. Cover the container with a towel or blanket.

10. Let the dough rest for 2 to 3 hours.

11. On a floured wooden board roll out the rested dough to 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick (If the dough is too thick they won't cook well).

10. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter cut out the "fritelle".

11. Heat up the oil.

12. Place two or three fritelle in the hot oil, turning them over and making sure they cook through.

13. Remove with a slotted spoon when they are ready.

14. Drain on paper towels.

15. Continue until all the fritelle are done.

16. Cool.

17. Before serving, dust with icing sugar.


These fritters may look like donuts but they don't really taste like them. They're a bit difficult to get right. Some cooks use a lot more liquid in the dough so that one spoons in the mixture, rather than rolling it out on a wooden board. I tried that, and the result was quite messy (Spoon a batter-style type of dough works for the smaller fritters, but not this style, I found). Personally, I didn't like this fritter very much, but then I don't have any childhood associations with it, so that might play a factor. For different versions on this style of fritter visit: www.istrianet.org/istraia/gastronomy/osteria/fritole.htm.... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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