Frittelle di Zucca Alla Veneziana

Venetian Pumpkin Fritters

You can increase or decrease the ingredients as you require for this recipe as pumpkins are usually quite large. The end result is a light and airy fritter with a lovely orange colour and an unusual flavour. Fritters are a very popular Venetian dessert and are traditionally served around Carnival time in February.


  • 150 g (5 oz) sultanas
  • 900 g (2 lb) yellow pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • granulated sugar
  • 100 g (3½ oz) plain flour, sifted twice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • salt
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • oil for deep frying


Cover the sultanas in cold water and leave to soak for 15 minutes; drain and dry. Put the pumpkin in a pan, cover with water and cook until soft; about 20 minutes. Drain it, then wrap in a cloth and squeeze out all the excess water.

Put the pumpkin in a bowl and mash it with 2 tablespoons sugar, the flour, baking powder, a large pinch of salt and the lemon rind. Stir in the sultanas. Mix it all together very thoroughly, incorporating air to make it as light and airy as possible.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 195°C (385°F), then add walnut-sized balls of mixture and cook until crisp and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and serve them as soon as the last batch has been fried. The slightly cloying taste of the pumpkin is balanced beautifully with a glass of ice cold, dry white wine.