Joel Valvasori-Pereza from Perth's Lulu La Delizia shares his recipe for fritole con l'acciughe, beautiful little Friulano anchovy "doughnuts". Known in other parts of Italy as frittelle, zeppole or crespelle, they hold a special place in the hearts of many Italo-Australians – everybody's nonna seems to have a recipe. These are a savoury version that are eaten as an antipasto with an aperitif or two. Throw away your knife and fork (figuratively, of course) because eating these with your fingers is a must!
350g warm water (just above body temperature)
5g dried yeast
100g best quality anchovy fillets, chopped (blot oil on paper towels before chopping)
50g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
10g lemon zest
2 litres vegetable oil (cottonseed if possible) for deep-frying
1. Mix together the dried yeast and warm water in a small bowl and allow to prove for 10 minutes until it begins to bubble.
2. In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and the water and yeast mixture. Work the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
3. Lightly rub a large stainless steel bowl with oil and transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film, and set aside until it has doubled in size.
4. While the dough proves, combine the anchovies, parsley and lemon zest in a small bowl.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, add the anchovy mixture. Work ingredients together using hands to distribute them evenly throughout the dough.
6. Roll pieces of dough into balls about the size of a 10¢ piece (floured hands may help). Place on a deep, oiled tray, cover with cling film and set aside again to prove until double in size.
7. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil to 165C in a large deep pan.
8. When the oil reaches temperature, gently place a few of the balls in the oil. Cook the fritole in batches, about two minutes on each side. Once golden all over, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat until you have cooked all the fritole.
9. Allow fritole to cool slightly (this lets more flavour to develop) and serve with lemon mayonnaise (see recipe below).
2 egg yolks
10g Dijon mustard
25g lemon juice
cracked black pepper
200g vegetable oil
50g olive oil
1. In a food processor, blend together egg yolks, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning, adjust as required.
2. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oils until the mayonnaise is thick and glossy.