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Frittelle: the Italian Hunger-Crusher!

Fried pizza, fritelle mazzafame: if you’ve never tried these fritters, you have no idea what you’re missing!

They're known as mazzafame in Abruzzo (which literally means "hunger killer") because they're a snack that will satisfy your hunger. They can be eaten as a snack on its own or with prosciutto, or even as a meal replacement for bread, and are a popular street dish at local festivals.

In Campania, on the other hand, they're smaller, softer, and fried, like a pizza, with tomato sauce. They're also available in various northern Italian regions, but only in a sweet variant coated with sugar.

Fritelle can be served as an appetiser, snack, or packed lunch, and should be consumed as soon as possible. They're normally circular, but they can also be shaped into sticks.

Frittelle mazzafame: the recipe

  1. Combine 2 1/2 cups of Italian 00 flour and 2 cups of bread flour with a teaspoon of sugar. Dissolve 1 ounce of fresh yeast in one cup of milk and add the mixture to the flour.

  2. Add in 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and some salt and knead the dough thoroughly with your hands. Add more milk (or water) if necessary until the dough is soft and moist.

  3. Let the dough rise for one or two hours in a lightly greased glass bowl covered with a cloth. When it has practically doubled in size, pinch off small amounts (leaving the dough in the bowl) and form round or long fritelle, working them with your hands very quickly so they don’t deflate.

  4. Never knead the dough again once it has risen! Make a few and let them rest on a wooden pastry board while the sunflower seed oil heats up. When the oil is ready, drop them in one at a time. The side that was exposed to air should always be immersed first. After a minute, turn them over.

  5. After a few minutes, the frittelle will be ready. Dry them on paper towels and season them with a pinch of salt. Serve immediately.


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