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Italian precipizi

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Photo: Silvia Nacamulli
Photo: Silvia Nacamulli

    Precipizi is an old Chanucah recipe from Ancona, in central Italy. This is my version, which I serve piled in a pyramid topped with coloured sugar sprinkles, like struffoli — a Christmas dessert from Naples. An old Jewish tradition presented in a modern way inspired by traditional Italian cooking.

    Serves: 4

    Preparation: 15 minutes plus 15 minutes resting

    Cooking: 10 minutes

    INGREDIENTS
    1 large egg
    4 tbsp caster sugar
    2 tbsp sunflower oil
    2 tbsp Marsala or sweet wine
    Zest of 1 lemon
    Pinch of salt
    150 - 180g flour (ideally ‘00’ type)
    Approx 500 ml sunflower/vegetable/corn oil for frying
    100g honey
    Sugar sprinkles for decoration

    METHOD

    Mix the egg, sugar, tablespoon of oil, wine, lemon zest and salt by hand or with an electric mixer.

    Add the flour, stir and work dough until it is soft and malleable but not sticky. If too sticky add a little more flour. Wrap with cling film and leave to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.

    Divide the dough into four. Gently roll each piece under your fingers to form a thin rope shape. Cut into small hazelnut--sized pieces, 0.5 to 0.7cm long, and put them on a tray lined with parchment paper.

    Heat the oil in a frying pan and once hot add the small dough balls — a few at a time to create one layer. Fry for a couple of minutes, constantly turning so they cook evenly until they are golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon onto absorbent paper. Repeat the frying with the rest of the dough pieces.

    Warm the honey in a pan and once runny and melted add the fried dough. Stir until all coated. l Arrange them on a plate.

    Leave to set and decorate with colourful sugar sprinkles before serving.

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