"Pizzarelle is a popular Roman Passover cookie that is really more of a fritter with pine nuts and honey. Airy and lumpy before frying, the end result is a glorious ruin from culinary tradition that spans many centuries and many influences—Roman, Spanish, Libyan, and Sicilian."
Reprinted with permission from Matzo: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long by Michele Streit Heilburn and David Kirschner (Clarkson Potter 2017). —Sarah Jampel
- Serves 4 to 6
large eggs, separated
extra-virgin olive oil
grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
pine nuts, toasted
Neutral oil, for frying
Honey, for serving (optional)
- n a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, olive oil, and lemon zest. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a medium bowl with a whisk, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the whites are shiny and have stiff peaks.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the matzo meal, followed by the raisins and the pine nuts.
- Line a plate with paper towels. Pour at least 2 inches of neutral oil into a large pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer and heat to 350° F over medium-high heat. If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, you can still check the oil temperature using the wooden spoon method. Dip the handle of a wooden spoon (or a chopstick) into the oil and watch what happens. If it starts to bubble steadily, the oil is hot enough for frying. If it bubbles vigorously, the oil is too hot and needs to cool off a touch. If none or very few bubbles pop up, it’s not yet hot enough. Working in batches, use 2 large spoons to shape 2 tablespoons into a football shape, then gently drop the fritter into the oil. Repeat with the remaining dough and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the fritters and transfer to the paper towel–lined plate to drain.
- Working in batches, use 2 large spoons to shape 2 tablespoons into a football shape, then gently drop the fritter into the oil. Repeat with the remaining dough and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove the fritters and transfer to the paper towel–lined plate to drain. (When frying, don’t overcrowd the pot or the oil temperature will drop and the pizzarelle will become greasy.)
- Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with honey, if desired.