Fritters Catania Style 
with Anchovies or Ricotta  

(“Frittelle con Acciughe o Ricotta” – “Crispeddi”) 

 

The Crispeddi  are made stuffed with anchovies or with ricotta.
In
Catania in all the friggitorie, the local fast food restaurants make those fritters in a salted version served as appetizer or for a snack and in a sweet version with ricotta cream as a dessert.
The crispeddi are shaped oblong when stuffed with anchovies and aromatized with dill or crushed fennels seeds or oregano.
When filled with ricotta, sugar, chocolate chip, candied diced fruits and spices, are shaped round.
This is an easy recipe because the ingredients are few and to prepare and assemble them is easy. Try both versions, it will be worth your efforts. 

  

Serves 8 to 10 

  

Ingredients:  

For the Dough 

·   2 lb. flour 

·   2 oz. yeast 

·   3 tablespoons of olive oil 

·   ½ teaspoon of sugar 

·   pinch of salt 

·   Or buy 2 lb. of bread dough in your local Italian bakery and knead in 2 tablespoons of oil.  

For the Crispeddi with Anchovies Filling 

·   10 salted anchovies, rinsed, filleted and chopped 

·   a few sprigs of dill or some chopped fennel seeds or some oregano 

·   salt and pepper 

For the Crispeddi with Ricotta Filling 

·   1 lb. ricotta 

·   ¼ lb. sugar 

·   1 tablespoon chocolate chips 

·   1 tablespoon candied diced fruits 

·   2 drops of vanilla 

·   some zest of orange 

·   powdered sugar for garnish 

For the Frying 

·   A large sauté pan with 1 to 2 inch of  canola oil or 

·   your preferred oil for frying 

Preparation  

The Dough
In a bowl mix ½ cup of warm water and the yeast. Add the sugar, ½ cup of flour, mix it well and blend to obtain a soft dough. Should it be 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, pinch of salt and knead to obtain an elastic dough similar to the bread dough. Make a ball, 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 it in 4 pieces. Take one piece at a time, knead it briefly and divide into chunks the size of a small egg or a scoop of ice cream.
Give to each piece the oblong shape of small bread to use for the crispeddi with anchovies and make it in a round shape for the crispeddi with ricotta.
For the Crispeddi with Anchovies
Take a piece of the oblong crispedda flatten it, fill with a few pieces of anchovies, a pinch of your chosen herb, seal and shape like a miniature loaf of bread. Place filled crispeddi on top of a clean kitchen towel, lightly dusted with flour, cover and rest them in a warm place for 1 hour.
For the Crispeddi with Ricotta 
Combine the ricotta, sugar, chocolate chips, candied fruits, vanilla and zest of ½ orange. Should mixture result too watery add some of your preferred sponge cake or biscuits crumbled to absorb some moisture.  
 
Take a piece of the round crispedda flatten it, fill with a teaspoon of ricotta cream, seal and shape 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 or peanut or olive oil. Use a deep fryer or  a large sauté pan.
Frying with a sauté pan, cover the bottom of it with 2 inches of oil and fry at a medium heat.
Heat oil to 350 degrees, or until it is hot, before it reaches the smoking point.
Very carefully lower the crispeddi into the oil, a few at a time, turning them to fry on all 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 powdered sugar.