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!
Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef says
We always had fried bread dough as a kid but we ate ours with maple syrup. I loved it but then I’d never had this before! Yum!
Kiri W. says
Oh wow – I’ve never seen this before. It looks delicious, especially with Nutella! Mmmmm. Something new to try 🙂
Giulietta | Alterkitchen says
I love gnocchi fritti.. they are a real guilty pleasure 🙂
Anna @ the shady pine says
When you put fried and dough together like that, it’s so hard to resist!
Nuts about food says
Mi Vida en un Dulce says
Delicious…!!! And you can eat it with Nutella…!!!
Manu, can I use vegetable grease (shortening) instead of lard?
Hi Nydia! Yes, go for it!!! :-))) Let me know if you like it!
Purabi Naha says
When I visit Italy, I’ll surely visit this place Emilia Romagna because I loved this very much and would love to try out other delicacies of this region! Lovely clicks Manu!!
It seems every culture has its little pillows of goodness! These are similar to what we make in NM called sopapillas. The only differences are baking powder instead of yeast and no sugar. I like the use the sugar! 🙂 We usually serve sopapillas with honey or stuff then with meat, chile and cheese similar to your sweet nutella or meats and cheese. I like the use of yeast and am curious to see how that changes the flavor. Might just have to find out. 🙂 Thanks for sharing more of your culture!
Javelin Warrior says
Light and pillowy and crispy and…amazing. I’m drooling =) I really love how these can be either sweet or savory – and beautiful no matter what. I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…
I heard about these from an ex-pat American living in this area. She just loves her gnocco fritto & tigelle with salume and cheese. I think I need to make this tonight for dinner. Thank you & Ciao!
Are these okay to make a few hours ahead of time, before a party? Have you done that b4?
Hi Jennifer. I have never made this in advance, but I have read that you can make the dough, roll it and shape it and then freeze the cut out shapes. When you want to serve it, just fry them from frozen. Hope it helps!
How many does this recipe make?