Brisbane-based writer Alessia Castiglione shares an Italian family recipe passed down from generation to generation (and now, passed on to littleWren!). Serve on pretty, vintage plates while wearing your Sunday best (if you like).
Back in the day when women would skip out to buy fabric on a Saturday morning so they could fashion a dress and wear it dancing that night, when men would play cards outside their neighbour’s houses, while puffing on cigars, and children played outside all day long, ladies baked, whipped and created to impress each other rather than their Pinterest board followers.
If you lived in Brisbane in the early ’60s and happened to stumble upon a white high-set Queenslander home in the sprightly suburb of Rosalie, you’d find a gaggle of strong, beautiful, loud Italo-Australian women cooking together in the home’s breezy kitchen.
My 75-year-old sweet tooth and honorary nonna, Gaetana Giuffre (pictured second from the left in the LBD below), was one of them. With a bank of recipes in her noggin that could outlast the longest dinner party, she has shared a lusciously appropriate recipe with littleWren.
Whenever she and her family came together to share food on regular occurrences, she would make (among many other gems) her easy-as-pie ricotta fritelli recipe, a staple for morning/afternoon teas that would waft a honey-lemon scent through the front door and welcome guests entering her house. These two-whisks-and-you’re-done treats were also whipped up and featured at tables during Easter, Valentine’s Day and many Christmases. She still recalls making them for her children, who as anyone can relate to, would sneak licks from the bowl while she tended to the fritters, away from her watchful eyes.
Gaetana’s Ricotta Fritters
What you’ll need to make Geatana’s Ricotta Fritters:
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons zested lemon rind
- ½ cup plain flour (sifted)
- 30g soft butter
- vegetable oil for frying
- ¼ cup warm honey (or to taste)
How to make these delicious morsels:
Whisk ricotta, eggs, sugar and lemon rind in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in flour and butter, cover; stand at room temperature for a few minutes until oil is heated.
Bring oil to medium heat so fritters cook well in the middle, fill to half way in a deep pan, and test with a small amount of batter… if batter floats, the oil is ready.
Drop tablespoon sizes of mixture into the oil, turning once or twice until fritters are golden.
Drain fritters on a wire rack and serve immediately. Drizzle with honey or lightly dust with icing sugar to taste. And, you’re done! (Prettying up your presentation with baby’s breath blooms is optional.)
Do you have an edible heirloom you’d like to share? Get in touch!
Alessia Castiglione is a copywriter and all-round aficionado of words. She pens articles for all kinds of blogs and is one half of the ad brains for her creative duo TM&AC. An admirer of people who can get through to cats, collector of too much kitchenware to count and fiercely protective over her accumulation of crystals that she started at 8, eating any food is the foundation of most of her weekends. You can find her advertising work over at TM&AC and pfaffy satirical ramblings at TBQFH.