Italian Jews invented a number of special dishes for the Jewish festivals. For Passover, Roman Jews created a dish called pizzarelle col miele — delicious matzah fritters filled with orange zest, pine nuts and raisins which are dipped in honey. In my family, friends and relatives gather around once a year to eat as many fritters as we can...
Time: 1 hour. Makes approximately 30 fritters.
- 5 matzot
- 2 free range eggs
- 100g white caster sugar
- A handful of finely chopped orange zest (about an orange)
- A handful of soaked raisins (about 50g)
- A handful of pine nuts (about 50g)
- Approx 1 litre sunflower oil for frying
- 200g honey
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Soak the matzah in a large saucepan or container of cold water for ½ hour with a weight or another saucepan filled with cold water on top so that it puts pressure on the matzah (if you are cooking bigger quantities soak for longer).
- In the meantime, beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the raisins, pine nuts, the orange zest, the sugar and a pinch of salt. Once the matzah is soaked and soft, drain the water and shred the matzah into the salad bowl.
- If you have a vegetable mill, use it to shred the matzah for best results, otherwise use your hands or a potato masher. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Tip: Taste the mixture at this stage, as it usually needs some adjusting. You may need to add more sugar/pine nuts/raisins/orange zest or salt. >Heat the oil in a large frying pan on high heat or in a deep fryer and adjust it to reach 180°C.
- Take a glass and fill it with water. If you are using a frying pan, once the oil is very hot, reduce the flame.
- Take a flat spoonful of the mixture and put it into the oil.
- Dip the empty spoon into the glass of water for a few seconds and then use it to take another flat spoonful of the mixture to put in the frying pan (the water helps to detach the mixture from the spoon more easily).
- Repeat the process so that you have a single layer of pizzarelle in the frying pan or deep fryer.
- Leave each side to fry for a few minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate covered with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil. Continue to fry until you have finished all the mixture.
- Remove the kitchen paper and arrange the pizzarelle on a serving plate.
- Heat the honey with the lemon juice and a tablespoon of water.
- Bring to the boil and leave to cook for a couple of minutes.
- Either pour the honey on top of the pizzarelle or place it in a small bowl for dipping. Enjoy!
Silvia Nacamulli’s website is www.cookingforthesoul.com