Travel to Italy

Travel to Italy
Travel to Italy

Italian Recipes

Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Nocatole {Calabrian Sweet Fritters} - #TwelveLoaves


Nocatole {Calabrian Sweet Fritters}

My in-laws and some other family members were here from Italy for a month. Most days with my mother-in-law, we discussed what to make for lunch or dinner and talked about food in general. Just before Memorial Day, she decided to make these nocatole (Calabrian sweet fritters).



She asked me that weekend if my husband was off the next day. I told her he was and she responded (in Italian, of course), "We will make a mezzo kilo (500 grams) of nocatole and un kilo (one kilo) of zeppole (a savory fritter)." I told her I definitely needed to get more flour and that she may as well wait to make it on Memorial Day since we were having friends over for a barbecue.
Nocatole {Calabrian Sweet Fritters}


Nocatole can also be called nacatole and nacatuli and they are a traditional recipe from Calabria in Italy. It is an ancient Calabrian recipe that originates in the province of Reggio Calabria and even other areas of Calabria. The ingredients used in Calabria to make these sweets are those usually produced locally: flour, eggs, olive oil and milk.

Nocatole {Calabrian Sweet Fritters}

Nocatole (nacatole or nacatuli) are fried and have the texture almost of a doughnut and have a delicate scent from the dash of cinnamon in the dough. I don't know if the cinnamon is a typical addition to the recipe, but my mother-in-law likes to use. It could be something recent she started. She did get a large bottle of cinnamon the last time she visited us and maybe she feels she has to use it up some way? She never wastes a thing! Whatever the reason, the dash of cinnamon is really lovely in the dough. They are made in different shapes (braid rings, rings, rods and other shapes)and are made during holiday festivities. They are made in particular during the week before Easter, Christmas, Carnevale, and New Year's Eve big dinner (cenone) and can be found in local bakeries in Calabria. You can find nonna's in Calabria making these not only for special holidays. Nocatole can be enjoyed with local sweet wines in Calabria like vin santo.

Now this is not a typical summer dessert in Italy. You are deep frying the dough, and in my humble opinion, they are best to be made on a much cooler day in December or in February during Carnevale time. But how could I say no to my mother-in-law! If you knew my mother-in-law, you would know, it's not that easy to say no to her making something and making it her way (and I'm not complaining at all!). She's already made a few things here for us and I make quite often her pan di Spagna recipe and her crostata agli amaretti.

She got busy with my daughter making the dough and I was making sure she could find every thing she needed to get them frying. When they come to visit us, I pretty much give her free reign in my kitchen. And I know some of you might not agree with that. I have friends that tell me they couldn't give up their kitchen, let alone live with their mother-in-law for a month. But you see, I learn so much by giving up the control of my kitchen. It's not that I'm not still experimenting in it. When she cooks, I'm hovering next to her and helping along. It's even come to the point in our relationship where she trusts me to make one of her beloved recipes with her supervising me. And there are some days when she is tired and she already cooked something fabulous for lunch, so I take over for dinner. So you see, it's not total relinquishing of my own kitchen rights. There is so much more to gain than to lose by letting my mother-in-law feel at home in my kitchen.

But on this hot end of May day, I was having a hard time dealing with the smell of frying dough. I had to open the windows to get out some of the smell and I had to close the doors from the kitchen to the rest of the house, so needless to say, it was a hot mess in my kitchen! I'm not that much into fried foods, because fried foods don't like me very much.

Teresa's hands were zipping around so quickly. I tried to get some action shots and wish I had video taped it instead.


Nocatole {Calabrian Sweet Fritters}


With another month of #TwelveLoaves upon us, I thought these fritters fit perfectly with our theme of A Little Something Sweet. Is a fritter considered a sweet bread? This is a dough that is made with baking powder instead of yeast and they're fried like doughnuts. A while back, I saw that doughnuts are considered quick breads. You can read about it more here and maybe get inspired to bake something to share along with us!


#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our theme this month is A LITTLE SOMETHING SWEET. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month's mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves Mexican Breads!

  some notes on this recipe: This is the sort of recipe my mother-in-law has been making since she was a little girl. As I mention above, they make it for special occasions, but not just on special occasions. My kids consider them a doughnut. Since it has a dash of cinnamon in the dough and they're tossed in confectioner's sugar once they're drained, they are pretty much like a doughnut. I'm sharing her basic formula for nocatole and she emphasizes that while she was baking here, the flour is different and she always had to add a little more liquid to the recipes. She makes mostly every thing on the counter with her hands. I do prefer to use my stand mixer, but for this recipe, I'm sharing it as she makes it. It's not that hard to get the dough together and it's actually quite cool to figure out with your hands if it is needing a little more liquid (in this case, milk is what she uses as liquid). I have seen other versions of this dough and it is made with yeast and also some use red wine in the dough. Since it's made all over Reggio Calabria in Italy, there could be different provinces that have different versions.



3 uova

250gr di farina

40gr di zucchero

1 bustina di lievito

olio di semi per friggere

zucchero e cannella


Impastare le uova, la farina, lo zucchero e il lievito. Lasciate riposare per una mezz'oretta dopodiché  prendete piccole quantità e create dei filoncini. Con un filoncino create una U lunga e stretta mentre con l'altro unite a zig-zag le estremità di quello ad U. Schiacciate le nacatole con un riga gnocchi o con una grattugia, in modo da creare delle scanalature.

Portate l'olio a temperatura e friggete le nacatole su entrambi i lati e, una volta scolate, lasciate riposare su della carta assorbente. Quando si saranno raffreddate, cospargetele con un mix di zucchero semolato e cannella.

- See more at: http://apranzodapit.blogspot.com/2015/02/le-nacatole-calabresi.html#sthash.zpQflCLt.dpuf


Nocatole {Calabrian Sweet Fritters}

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes
Cook Time: approx 15 minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 3/4 (500 grams) cup of flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cup(150 grams) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon your favorite liqueur
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon of milk (or more as needed)
  • confectioner's sugar
Instructions
Place the flour on clean working surface. Add the baking powder to the flour and mix it around quickly with your hands. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the sugar, eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, liqueur, cinnamon.

Stir the ingredients together. Add the milk, starting with a tablespoon. If dough needs more, add a tablespoon more at a time. Knead the dough until it is soft and smooth.

Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Take the dough and remove small pieces (about 100 grams of dough each piece)and roll into a log. Take the log and break into 2 pieces. Twist dough down like a rope and 1/2 way down the rope, grab two ends and wrap around the top. Press ends together gently so it won't open up.You could also make simple ring shapes.

Fry the dough in hot vegetable oil. Turn the nocatole so they're a dark golden color on both sides.
Carefully remove the nocatole and drain on paper towel lined plates.

Toss the fritters in confectioner's sugar and serve.

29 comments

  1. […] Nocatole {Calabrian sweet fritters} from Cake Duchess […]

    ReplyDelete
  2. […] Nocatole {Calabrian sweet fritters} from Cake Duchess […]

    ReplyDelete
  3. […] Nocatole {Calabrian sweet fritters} from Cake Duchess […]

    ReplyDelete
  4. […] Nocatole {Calabrian sweet fritters} from Cake Duchess […]

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, my gosh, I want your MIL to move into MY kitchen, Lora! She shares the most glorious recipes and you reproduce them beautifully. And so fun to see your sweet daughter develop her baking skills, too. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a wonderful opportunity to cook with your mother-in-law! We just love so many of the dishes we had when traveling to my husbands family in Italy. These fritters look gorgeous and delicious! They would be perfect for brunch.

    ReplyDelete
  7. These look wonderful! I always love any opportunity I have to get in the kitchen with my family! Wonderful memories!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What fun! I've never heard of these. Thanks for sharing them. I'm not much for frying, but I might try these.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I need these noooooow! I have a weakness for anything fried, and this is screaming my name!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yum...what can I say....absolutely divine looking...want!

    ReplyDelete
  11. These look so delicious!! I'd love one for breakfast, and snack, and dessert!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. These look dangerously addictive! And how fun to get some cooking lessons from your Italian mother-in-law...sounds like so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  13. These look so unique, what a fun treat to try!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I adore this post. Seeing your MIL and daughter working together in the kitchen is priceless. I'm so intrigued by the shapes of these, and would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in your hot mess of a kitchen. ;)

    I bet it is hard to give up your kitchen for a month, but I'd say it was worth it. I'd do just about anything to have a little time each year shadowing my MIL or grandma in my own kitchen...that experience is invaluable. xo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Laura, what a beautiful story! I love the photo with your daughter and MIL. What a wonderful way to learn too. These shapes are amazing, and I'm sure there's a story behind every one.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my, Lora ... your nocatole are beautiful!

    I'm imagining how amazing that first bite of one must be ... and now I'm drooling!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I saw the first picture and immediately knew these were for my hubby. He can't resist the fried dough you often see at fairs..but, this sounds soooo much better.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a fun recipe, I love the tradition behind them! These look so delicious, I think I could eat that entire plate!

    ReplyDelete
  19. These are wonderful and how great to have such a great hand me down in the family. It is great that you are carrying on the tradition - and sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. How amazing it must be to learn from your mother in law! I would gladly give up my kitchen for her to teach me how to make recipes like these fritters!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I forget where I saw the initial picture of your uncooked fritters (might have been IG or FB), but I was immediately intrigued by their shape, and the amount of work they look like they involve.
    The thought of frying dough in the hot summer months is a little alarming, but these look like they'd totally be worth it. I love that you are able to learn from your Italian mother-in-law and that you surrender your kitchen to her. What a treat...just like these fritters!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I could just taste them now! My hubby taught me to make crostoli once and they were amazing! Can't wait to try these!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a fun day in the kitchen! These may be more of a winter dish but I sure would happily eat them now :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. This looks beautifully delicious! I can actually see myself nibbling on this at street fairs or festivals. It'd be so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I wish I had someone to cook and bake with! My hubs is my sous chef but if he's not home, I'm cooking all by myself! Sweet fritters sound great :) I'll eat them any time of the year but I get how you probably don't want that smell lingering in your house on a warm spring day. Awesome recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fried dough and powdered sugar?? I'm in!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yep, this is amazing. And your MIL is welcome to come to my house anytime. I WILL be making these.

    ReplyDelete