Castagnole (sweet fried dough balls)

Castagnole con ricotta

Prepare time: 20 min
Cook: 15 min
Ready in: 35 min

A delicious traditional Italian dessert, which is mostly eaten during and around carnival time. This version is made with ricotta and deep fried which makes them extra soft and tasty.


  • 240 grams ricotta
  • 1 egg (55 grams)
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 140 grams of 00 flour/fine white flour
  • Dried yeast (6 grams)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For frying

  • 500 ml sunflower oil

For coating

  • Extra sugar

Extra tools (optional)

  • Piping bag

To make this super yummy dessert you can start by draining the ricotta well, so it can get rid of all its liquids. Then take a big bowl and add the ricotta, the egg and the sugar. Mix all very well with a whisk.

Wash and dry the lemon and/or orange and zest them directly into the bowl. Try not to take the white part of the fruit, to reduce bitterness. Mix the zest with the rest of your mixture. Then sieve the flour and add to the bowl bit by bit. Add the yeast, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Mix everything with a spatula. You will notice the mixture is a bit sticky, so to roll the balls you can add some flour on your hands, so they will get more firm. The other way to do it is adding the whole mixture into a piping bag, cut a little part underneath open and with a scissor cut little pieces directly into your oil.

With this mixture you will create between 25/30 Castagnole. Make sure the oil is 170 degrees and start adding them 6 till 8 at the time, in this way temperature doesn’t lower so much. Turn them around, so they get bronzed on both sides in 3/ 4 minutes. Then let them drain on some kitchen paper and put them directly into a bowl with sugar, while they’re still hot. In this way the sugar will stick better to the Castagnole.

Serve them with a nice dessert wine or a cup of tea.
Buon appetito!

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