Calzoncini Abruzzesi

Ricotta Fritters

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

These hearty little fritters from Abruzzo can be served as part of an antipasti selection or as a tasty cheesy snack at any time of day. Traditionally, they would be part of a great mound of deep-fried goodies such as artichoke hearts, scamorza cheese, cauliflower florets and many other delicious bits and pieces. This would be followed by the pasta course, the main course and then the desserts. Perhaps it is not surprising, therefore, that feasts in the Abruzzo can begin at one o’clock and not finish until seven o’clock in the evening!

Ingredients

  • 300 g/11 oz/generous 1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 115 g/4 oz prosciutto crudo, finely chopped
  • 115 g/4 oz/1 cup coarsely grated provolone cheese
  • 50 g/2 oz/1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

For the Pastry

  • 400 g/14 oz/ cups plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 115 g/4 oz/ cup lard or white cooking fat
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt

Method

  1. Put the ricotta cheese in a bowl and mix with the egg yolks, prosciutto, provolone and parsley, and season with salt and black pepper. Stir until the mixture has a smooth, even consistency. Set aside while you make the pastry.

  2. To make the pastry, put the flour on to the work surface. Make a hole in the middle and break in the eggs. Add the lard, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  3. Knead it all together until you have a smooth ball of dough.
  4. Roll the dough out thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut into 7.5cm/3in circles using a pastry or cookie cutter.

  5. Put a teaspoonful of the filling on one half of each circle, fold in half and seal tightly by pressing the prongs of a fork all the way around the open edge.

  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or deep-fryer until a small piece of the pastry, dropped into the oil, sizzles instantly.
  7. Slide the calzoncini into the oil, about four at a time, and fry them until puffy and golden.
  8. Remove the calzoncini using a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and keep them warm while you cook the rest. Serve them piping hot.