March 20, 2011

Zeppoli di San Giuseppe

Filed under: Italian Desserts — Tags: , , , , , , , — irishitaliankitchen @ 10:35 am

So yesterday was St. Joseph’s day and Father’s day here in Italy. Seeing as I had a belated St Patrick’s day dinner, today is effectively St Joseph’s day in the madhouse that is my home. This is always mother in laws recipe (passed down through the generations etc etc) and I love these little calorie filled desserts!!This makes enough zeppoli per about 8 people.


Amarena Jam or Cherry Jam (optional) and sugar to coat

Vegetable oil to fry


For the Zeppoli:

6 eggs

300g plain flour

50g butter

1/2 litre of water

a pinch of salt


for the cream:

50cl of milk

2 eggs

100g sugar

80g plain flour

1 lemon

prepare dough:

1 – Pour the water into a saucepan with butter and salt, turn heat to medium when water is just about to boil, pour the sifted flour and stir vigorously for 10 minutes with a whisk until the mixture thickens.

2 – Turn off the heat and add 6 eggs, one at a time, always stirring vigorously  and possibly with an electric mixer until the mixture is well blended. Let stand for 20-25 minutes.

Prepare the cream:

1 – In a bowl work the sugar in with the 2 egg yolks until mixture is white and fluffy. Add the sifted  flour, milk and two pieces of lemon peel.

2 – place the saucepan over a medium heat and thicken the cream without boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the lemon zest and cool.

Continue to fry the zeppoli:

1 – filled a high sided frying pan with the oil, the donuts must be completely immersed in oil. Put the pan on a medium heat.

2 – Form the zeppoli, I make them as doughnuts without holes so I make them into a round form.

3 – Place the zeppoli one at a time into the hot oil and cook until they swell. Raise the heat slightly to brown them, remove and place on a paper towel.

4 – when the zeppoli have cooled, I use a syringe to fill them with the cream and then sprinkle with sugar, if you used the cherry jam or sour cherries in syrup put a little on top of the zeppoli (about a teaspoon per zeppoli)  and serve.



Sunday Ragù

Filed under: Italian Pasta — Tags: , , , , , — irishitaliankitchen @ 9:26 am

So it’s Sunday once more and a Sunday favourite in my house is my Sunday Ragù. It’s like “Bolognese” sauce only different, if that makes any sense. This is a meat and tomato sauce using meat pieces instead of mince and 2 or 3 different types of meat. This sauce needs to “bubble” that’s the secret as it were. I normally bring it to the boil, cover the saucepan, turn the gas down to the minimum and allow it to bubble for up to 3 hours, the more it cooks, the better it is my mother in law always says! Here you go! Buona Domenica!

700g of veal, cut into chunks (if you don’t like veal a nice rump steak will do the trick)

200g of pork ribs

4 pork chops

4 Italian sausage  (I use one per person. If you can’t get Italian sausage a good quality beef sausage is fine)

2 onions

1.5 litres of Tomato passata (if you can’t find passata some good quality tinned tomatoes passed through the processer)

200g Extra virgin olive oil

1/4 of a litre of red wine


salt and pepper


  1. Heat a deep saucepan (one with a lid) on the hob
  2. Add the oil and add the onion (chop it finely with a mezzaluna) and the meat to the saucepan
  3. Let them cook for a few minutes just to colour the meat
  4. Add the wine and allow it to “evaporate”. This takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the passata and season with salt.
  6. Bring to the boil and cover
  7. Turn the heat down to the minimum and allow to “bubble” for 2 and a half to 3 hours. This is called “pippiare”
  8. Stir the sauce often when it is bubbling on the hob, remember that sauce is stirred only with a wooden spoon and NEVER with a metal one!
  9. Add the basil at the last minute to the sauce!
  10. When it’s cooked I allow it to cool for about an hour before cooking the pasta, Penne rigate would be the best, or even better pennettone (big penne pasta)
  11. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the saucepan again, add a little knob of butter and some sauce, put on a low heat and mix often so that the pasta absorbs the sauce.
  12. Serve the pasta and turn on the heat back on under the sauce.
  13. The meat is served as a main dish (secondo piatto) with some sauce and bread to “zuppare” (dip) into the sauce.



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