Fritters with Anchovies and Cheese

orwith Ricotta Cream


Frittelle con Alici e Formaggio o con Crema di Ricotta 


Crispeddi are made stuffed with anchovies or ricotta.
 Catania, all the friggitorie, local fast food restaurants, make a version of fritters that is salted, to be served as an appetizer or for a snack, and a version that is sweet, with ricotta cream to be served as a dessert.
Crispeddi are oblong-shaped when stuffed with anchovies and are spiced either with dill, crushed fennel seeds or oregano. When filled with ricotta, sugar, chocolate chips, candied diced fruit and spices, they are round. 

This is an easy recipe because the ingredients are few and assembling them is easy. Try both versions; it will be worth your efforts.  




Makes 8 to 10 



For the Dough 

·        2 lb flour 

·        2 oz yeast 

·        3 tablespoons olive oil 

·        ½ teaspoon sugar 

·        Pinch of salt 

·        Or buy 2 lb of bread dough at your local Italian bakery 


For the Crispeddi with Anchovy Filling as an Appetizer 

·        10 salted anchovies, rinsed, filleted and chopped 

·        10 pieces of fresh cheese or mozzarella in ½-inch cubes 

·        A few sprigs of dill, chopped fennel seeds or oregano 

·        Salt and pepper 


For the Crispeddi with Ricotta Filling as a Dessert 

·        1 lb ricotta 

·        ¼ lb sugar 

·        1 tablespoon chocolate chips 

·        1 tablespoon candied diced fruits 

·        2 drops of vanilla 

·        Zest of ½ orange 

·        Confectionary sugar for garnish 


For Frying
A large sauté pan with 1 to 2 inches of canola oil or 
your preferred oil for frying  




The Dough
In a bowl, mix ½ cup warm water and the yeast. Add the sugar and ½ cup of flour, and mix until it is well blended and a soft dough is formed. If too dry, add some water; if too watery, add flour. Set aside, covered, in a warm place.  


After 45 minutes to 1 hour, combine risen dough with remaining flour. Add some lukewarm water, the oil and a pinch of salt, and knead to obtain an elastic dough, similar to bread dough. Make a ball and cut across to allow to rise. Cover and store in a warm place until it doubles in size, 2 to 3 hours.  


The Crispeddi  
When dough is ready, split into 4 pieces. Take one piece at a time, knead it briefly and divide it into chunks the size of a small egg or scoop of ice cream.
Form each piece into an oblong shape if you want to make crispeddi with anchovies or form it into a round shape for crispeddi with ricotta.






For Crispeddi  with Anchovies and Cheese 

Take a piece of the oblong dough, flatten it and fill with 1 piece of cheese, a few pieces of anchovies and a pinch of your chosen herb. Moisten the edge and seal all around. 

Wet hands with oil and shape dough into an oblong form to resemble a miniature loaf of bread. 

Place filled crispeddi on top of a clean kitchen towel lightly dusted with flour, cover and rest in a warm place for 1 hour.  


For Crispeddi with Ricotta 
Combine ricotta, sugar, chocolate chips, candied fruits, vanilla and zest of ½ an orange. If mixture is too watery, add some of your preferred sponge cake or biscuits, crumbled, to absorb some moisture.

Take a piece of the round dough, flatten it, fill with a teaspoon of ricotta cream, moisten the edge and seal it all around. 

Wet hands with oil and shape into a ball so that it looks like a bread roll. 

Place filled crispeddi on top of a clean kitchen towel lightly dusted with flour, cover and rest in a warm place for 1 hour.  


For the Frying
For frying the crispeddi, use your preferred oil. We suggest canola, peanut or olive oil. Use a deep fryer or a large sauté pan.
If you are frying with a sauté pan, cover the bottom with 2 inches of oil and fry over medium heat.


Heat oil to 350 degrees or until hot but before it reaches the smoke point. 

Very carefully lower the crispeddi into the oil, a few at a time, turning them to fry on both sides until golden brown. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove from oil and dry on paper towels.  


The Serving
The crispeddi with anchovies are served sprinkled with salt and pepper.
The ricotta crispeddi are served dusted with confectionary sugar.