XXVI. Fritelle da Imperadore magnifici.
Se tu voy fare fritelle da Imperadore, toi la chiara de l’ ova e fete de formazo frescho, e battile cum la chiara de l’ ova, e mitige un pocho de farina e pignoli mondi. Toy la padella cum assay onto, falo bolire e fay le fritelle. Quando sono cocte, polverizali ben zucharo e tienli caldi, etc.
These ricotta fritters are from a 14th century Venetian cookbook called Libro per Cuoco and were amazing – plus they’re called “Magnificent Imperial Fritters”, and who’s to say they’re not?
The only deviation I made from the recipe was too use the whole egg instead of just the white – when I make them again I’ll probably use 1 whole egg and 1 white.
All you do is take about a pound of ricotta (fresh cheese in old Italian cookbooks is usually ricotta), add an egg and mix; add “a little” flour – it’s more than a little but certainly not “a lot”, I used somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/4 cup of semolina, just until the fritter dough started to seem more like dough than cheese – add the pine nuts – I browned them gently in a pan first, these are largely to taste, I used a large handful. I then dropped golf ball sized amounts into the deep fryer and cooked until the outside was brown, finishing with powdered sugar and a little parmigiana. The recipe says to “keep warm” which is good advice – these are best eaten hot. The end result is much lighter and fluffier than you’d think – the inside is moist and molten and the outside brown and crispy. They only take a couple minutes to cook, so the whole process really doesn’t take more than 15 minutes from start to finish. You could certainly do them in a pan instead of a deep fryer, though they be considerably flatter. I use canola in the fryer, but I’d use olive if I made them in a pan. They don’t cook long or hot enough to worry about the oil burning.
I’m going to put these, the other Sent Sovi fritters, and the pumpkin pie in a Cruditas Hall of Fame as soon as I make one.