Do you want to impress your friends with something very tasty and original? Here is Gnocco Fritto, a popular and tasty appetizer from Emilia that is usually combined with the local “salumi” and cheese. It consist in a deep fried dough that is very puffy and flaky. There are many ways to name this dish in Emilia: in Parma, for example, is called “Torta Fritta” while in Ferrara is called “Pinzino”. The recipe is pretty much the same everywhere and consists of a particular dough made with flour, lard, salt and yeast. Usually I use extra-virgin olive oil instead of lard to make my Gnocco Fritto lighter. Of course, the purists will disagree but the result is very satisfing. I also like to combine this Gnocco Fritto with Prosciutto crudo di Parma, Mortadella di Bologna, a good salame from Emilia Romagna, Coppa and some cheeses like Asiago Dop, Montasio, Gouda and Gruyere. It pairs very well with the local Lambrusco or a good and fresh Prosecco di Valdobbiadene: I always look for sparkling wines to refresh and clean my palate from the oiliness coming from the deep fried Gnocco Fritto. Now you are ready to start making it, it is very easy.
300 grams of all purpose flour
30 grams of extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt
5 grams of dry yeast melted in lukewarm water (3/4 cup)
In a large bowl combine the flour with the oil and the yeast and the water and add the salt at the end. Let it rise for three hours in a warm environment and then take a rolling pin and shape them in small rhombus. The dimensions could be around 2 x 4 inches. Deep them in the oil previously warmed and wait until they will start puffing. They have to be very lightly golden brown color. Serve them with all the italian salumi that you want. Enjoy and buon appetito.