Of all the fritters found at Italian carnivals, these have to be one of our favourites! The word “castagne”, translating to “chestnuts”, refers to the small rounded shape of these delicate puffs. Made with ricotta, they resemble doughnuts which are perfumed with lemon and coated in sugar. Our friend Jessica Timpano recently released her cookbook, ‘Decoding Nonna’s Recipes’, which celebrates Italian cooking traditions and lifelong food memories, unlocking the secrets behind her nonna’s recipes. She kindly joined us in The Culture Room to make her version of this classic sweet treat that didn’t make the cookbook.
*Paneangeli Lievito Vanigliato can be sourced from any good Italian deli or grocer.
Beat eggs and sugar well with an electric beater for 2-3 minutes. Add the Ricotta and beat to combine. Mix in the limoncello, lemon zest and vanilla essence.
Sift the flour and lievito vanigliato then add them into the wet ingredients a bit at a time using a whisk or spatula. Heat oil over high heat then decrease the temperature if needed. You can drop a small amount of dough into the oil to check if it’s ready (it should bubble but not colour too quickly).
Using 2 metal spoons, form a small ball shape and drop gently into the oil. It helps if you wet one of the spoons with cold water each time. Fry over a medium-low heat and keep stirring.
Drain on paper towel and dust in sugar. Serve on a platter with family and friends, and enjoy them while they are hot!>