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Traditional recipes


4 people
30 min

Strufoli, which in some areas of Umbria are also called castagnole, are small, delicious fried balls made with simple ingredients and covered with honey, or alkermes and icing sugar.

In the past, these sweets were fried in lard. To comply with the restrictions that were to come with the entry of Lent, a period when meat or animal fats were forbidden, these sweets were eaten by midnight on Shrove Tuesday.

Today, each family keeps its own version of the recipe, handing it down from generation to generation. However, a secret ingredient in many preparations is a small glass of mistrà, which can be substituted by other aniseed liqueurs, or other liquors if you want to give the strufoli a more special flavour.


Make a well in the flour on a pastry board and add the baking powder, sugar, lemon peel, eggs, olive oil, vanilla flavouring (optional) and mistrà.

Knead everything together energetically for several minutes to form a firm, well-blended dough. Let the dough rest for about an hour.

Meanwhile, heat the seed oil in a large frying pan. Take a spoonful of the dough and dip it into the hot oil.

When they are puffy and golden, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on absorbent paper. You can opt for different toppings: with honey or with alkermes and icing sugar.