Gnocco fritto

Jill Dupleix
Golden pillows: Gnocco fritto teams perfectly with salumi or other cold meats.
Golden pillows: Gnocco fritto teams perfectly with salumi or other cold meats. Photo: Edwina Pickles

These light, crisp little pillows of Italian pizza dough date from medieval times, and are traditionally eaten in the hand. Serve with prosciutto, mortadella, salami or bresaola, and maybe some pickles, olives, mozzarella and wine.

Ingredients

150ml milk

7g dried yeast

250g plain flour

1 tbsp lard or butter, softened

olive or vegetable oil for deep-frying

200g finely sliced salumi or cold meats

Method

1. Heat the milk in a small pan until just lukewarm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the yeast. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk and yeast, add the lard or butter and a good pinch of sea salt, and work the milk through the flour with your hands until you have a soft dough. Knead for three minutes until smooth, then shape into a ball and set aside in a warm place, in a bowl covered by a cloth, for two to three hours or until doubled in size.

2. Divide the dough in two and roll out each ball as finely as you can on a floured bench. Cut into 6 cm squares with a ravioli cutter.

3. Heat the oil to 180C, and fry several gnocchi at a time until puffed and golden. Drain well and serve while still warm.