Venetian Biscuits


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

When making these very traditional Venetian treats, you will find you need to work with an extremely stiff, hard dough. If necessary, use a food processor to help you. Pevarini keep very well for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Many recipes from the Veneto region, and Venice in particular, seem to reflect the need for making foods that will store for a while, presumably with the idea of sea voyaging in mind. The marine shapes of these pevarini continue this theme.


  • 300 g/11 oz/ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 5 ml/1 tsp baking powder
  • 25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp unsalted butter, lard/white cooking fat or vegetable oil
  • 50 g/2 oz/4 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp mixed spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg and white pepper
  • ice cream or dessert wine, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and line a baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour on to a work surface with the baking powder.

  3. Add the butter, lard or oil, the sugar, and the spices. Knead everything together thoroughly to combine. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 5 mm/¼ in.

  4. With a sharp, pointed knife, cut biscuits out of the dough in your desired shapes (traditionally fish or seahorses).

  5. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool. Serve with ice cream or dessert wine.