Today’s Regional Italian dish comes from the region of Emilia Romagna, an area where you find some of the best Italian food. Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Culatello, Parmigiano Reggiano, Tortellini, just to name a few, all come from here. It is “foodie heaven” and I cannot recommend it enough for a taste of amazing Italian food. Gnocco fritto is a delicious “fried dough” that is always served with cold meats and cheeses. There are many recipes for it, in fact I think almost every family has their own version. I used to make one with no yeast (I may also post that recipe later on), but I like this version more. It is very easy to make and it tastes fantastic… and the good thing is you can serve it as a savoury dish or as dessert: just fill it with jam or Nutella! Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano
175 ml – 5.9 oz. water
500 gms – 1.1 lbs flour
4 gms – 0.15 oz. yeast
70 gms – 2.5 oz. lard
10 gms – 0.35 oz. salt
1 tsp sugar
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 50 ml – 1.7 oz. of lukewarm water, stir well and add 2 tbsp of flour. Mix well until you get a smooth batter. Let it rest for half an hour.
In the meantime, dissolve the salt in the remaining lukewarm water (1). Now put the rest of the flour and lard in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the hook attachment (2). Add the batter and the salty water to it (3). Knead for a few minutes until you get a smooth and pliable dough (4). Make it into a ball (5) and make a cross on it with a knife (6). Sprinkle it with flour and keep it aside to rise. The original recipe called for 4 hours of proofing time, but I was in a hurry and allowed it only 2 hours. They came out just as perfect… so if you do not have 4 hours to spare, it is ok to keep it for less.
Now you can roll the dough into a 3 mm – 0.1 inch thick sheet and cut out 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) long diamond shapes.
Deep fry them in hot vegetable oil until golden and puffy. Transfer them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
Serve warm with cheeses and cold meats (you can also slice them in half and make “sandwiches” with them). They are perfect with salami, mortadella, prosciutto and soft or semi soft Italian cheeses.
Or… you can fill them with jam or Nutella for a sweet treat! Enjoy!