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If you are looking for a quick fried treat then Italian castagnole would be the perfect choice for you. These are small doughnut balls eaten in Italy during the Carnival time. Their name comes from "castagne" (chestnuts in Italian) because they are pretty much the size of chestnuts.
If you have opportunity to visit Venice in February you should definitely try one of these tempting fritters from their bakeries and pastry shops. Otherwise, castagnole are easy to make and as they are best eaten freshly fried making them at home means you can enjoy them while still warm.
Just follow our recipe below and get a bunch of castagnole crunch from the outside and soft and tender inside.
How to make castagnole
For making castagnole, first combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon zest in one bowl. Make a well in the centre and break the eggs into it. Add melted butter, ricotta and 1 tablespoon of rum or any other liqueur and knead a smooth and soft dough. Shape small balls and fry them in deep sunflower oil until golden. Roll castagnole in caster sugar and enjoy while still warm!
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COOKS IN: 1 hour
- 200 g plain flour
- 30 g caster sugar
- 100 g ricotta cheese
- 20 g butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
- 1 tablespoon anise liqueur (rum or Amaretto)
- 1 pinch of salt
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Caster sugar for coating
- Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and grated lemon zest in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre and break the eggs into it.
- Add the melted butter, ricotta and one tablespoon of desired liqueur and begin to stir all the ingredients with a spoon until roughly combined. Using your hands, knead the dough until you get a smooth dough. If too stiff, add 1 tablespoon of milk. If mixture is too soft add more flour. Wrap the dough in the cling film and let it rest at room temperature for about half an hour.
- Heat sunflower oil in a deep saucepan until it reaches 175°C. Divide the dough into small balls of the size of chestnuts and fry them, a few at a time, until golden all around, for about 3 - 4 minutes. Once fried transfer them on a kitchen paper to drain. Roll castagnole into caster sugar while still warm and serve.
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