Italian Jewish Food For Hanukkah

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emilia romano style friend raisin cinnamon bread bites

Food. Italy. Jewish.

Put them all together and you’d be hard-pressed to come up with anything more mouthwateringly delectable. This recipe is my spin, Gnocco Fritto, a less well known classic of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, where the famed gnocchi dumpling, rich in cheese and eggs and made with semolina flour (not potatoes), reigns supreme.

The dish is often made with lard, so I made this recipe quite differently than most, and headed to the mild sweetness of dairy to make a dough that was delicately sweet.  This recipe does make “a gracious plenty” of bread bites. If you only want to fry half of the recipe—since they do taste best when freshly made—try making the rest into a bread. I did. Then I actually baked off a second batch (in two loaf pans at 365°F for about 30 minutes), and the results were great for morning toast and an amazing French toast.

Traditionally, this simple fried dumpling is quite plain—and is typically split in half and filled with cold cuts. But it’s also eaten sweet—with a drizzle of honey, a dusting of powdered sugar or served with jams, which is how I prefer it. I serve this currant-or raisin-studded bite with an anise and honey dipping sauce—especially around Chanukah and Rosh Hashanah—but these deliciously crispy mini-breads are also a perfect match for Nutella or Soom’s Chocolate Sesame Butter for kids of every age, at any time of year.

Try my recipe for Sweet Gnocco Fritto (Fried Cinnamon Raisin Bread Bites) for a fun new Chanukah treat or any other time.

sweet gnocco fritto