Fritte di Natale Abruzzesi- Italian Christmas Fritters

  • 500g dried chickpeas
  • Skin of 2 oranges, peeled
  • 300g walnuts
  • 750mL marsala (Italian fortified wine) or port
  • 250g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying 
  • 6 eggs
  • 750mL white wine
  • 500mL sunflower oil
  • 6 tbs caster sugar
  • 1.5kg plain flour, plus extra for sprinkling

1. To make the filling:

Boil the chickpeas according to the packets directions, until soft. Drain and cool.

In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, orange skin, and walnuts.

Put this mixture into a large saucepan and add the marsala/ port, cocoa and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally, until all the liquid has been soaked up. Leave overnight to cool.


2. On a flat surface, make a mound of flour and sugar with a hole in the middle. To the centre of the mound, add the eggs, wine and oil. Combine with a fork then slowly combine the flour into the flour


3. Once the wet and dry ingredients combine to form a dough, knead the dough for approximately ten minutes, until soft and elasticy


4. Leave the dough to rest in a plastic bag for 20 minutes.


5. Divide the dough into portions approximately the size of a fist, and leave the portions in the bag until you are ready to work them


6. Roll a portion to 1cm thick, then put it through a pasta maker on the widest setting. Fold the dough in half, and put it through again. Move the setting down one so it is thinner, and repeat these steps until it has gone through the thinnest setting


7. On the dough, place teaspoons of mixture along the middle, approximately 4cm apart. Brush around the mixture with water, then fold the dough in half lengthways


8. Cut half circles around each ball of dough with a knife or crimper cutter. Use a fork to press around the cut edges. Repeat with remaining dough and mixture.


9. In a high frypan, heat enough sunflower oil for it to be approximately 8cm high. When the oil is hot, add the fritters in batches, moving around until they turn brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Repeat in batches, changing the oil if it becomes too dirty. Enjoy fresh or cold.


And a word from the dietitian...

Deep frying isn’t NECESSARILY the most unhealthy cooking method. If food is placed into oil when the oil is super hot, the oil seals the outside, preventing oil to soak in. Compare this to shallow frying at lower levels where the outside doesn;t seal immediately, allowing the oil to soak in and make it a much higher kilojoule food (1 tablespoon oil= approximately 500kJ= more energy than a slice of bread)