Vin Brulé (Mulled Wine)

1 (750 ml) bottle red wine. I like Appasimento from Puglia but also Barbera can be a good choice. 
150 gr sugar
75 gr Vecchia Romagna Brandy

1 orange 
1 lemon
2 cardamom seeds
2 sticks cinnamon
2 cloves
2 anise stars 

Wash the orange and lemon, and then cut the rinds. Place the fruit aside (or squeeze for some fresh juice).

Combine the rinds with all other ingredients in a large pot, and heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Just before the wine reaches boiling point, remove from the heat.

Let the wine infuse, covered and off the heat, for at least 20 minutes. Strain, and serve.



  • 6 Medium eggs;
  • 400 grams of sugar;
  • 60 gr extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 50 gr. Sambuca or Anice
  • 1.2 kg flour.


It is necessary to first stir the eggs with the sugar in a bowl. At this point add the lemon juice and then the extra virgin olive oil, making sure that the sugar is well dissolved. Then the anise is added.

In another bowl, the flour is put, rigorously sieved, with baking powder and blends well. Then the mixture of the previous bowl is added and the whole is worked so that the dough is more or less homogeneous, which is soft and not sticky. In any case, it is possible to add more flour to obtain the desired consistency.

Leave to rest for at least 2 hours.

Remove the mixture from the bowl and work on a wooden pastry board until you reach a dough. From the dough thus obtained it is necessary to obtain dough yarns about one finger thick and rather long, 40 or 50 centimetres, by rolling them on the wooden pastry board, applying light pressure with both hands.

At this point it is necessary to wrap the string of dough around the handle of the wooden spoon, to then close it on itself on both sides, thus obtaining the typical ellipsoidal shape.

Still wrapped on the handle of the wooden spoon, the shape must be on the gnocchi tablet to decorate it and give the typical streaks, to then be removed from the spoon. Finally, the Nacatole must be fried in boiling oil until light brown in colour.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup red vermouth (or Dry Marsala)
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 cups flour (+- 1 kilo flour)
  • 1 bag of Pane degli Angeli baking powder (16 grams)
  • About 2 cups honey, warm
  • 1 block of pure lard to fry



Sift together the flour with baking powder and set aside.

In the bowl (or a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), mix together oil, sugar and eggs until well blended. 

Add dry ingredients until mixture forms a mass.  

Scrape the dough onto a very lightly floured board. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten. Dust the top lightly with flour, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let it rest for 1 hour to allow the dough to relax.

Roll into logs and cut one inch pieces.  Roll down on fork or gnocchi board.  The deeper the grooves on the cookies the better as they puff up as they fry and the ridges, unless deep, tend to disappear.

Heat the lard in a deep pan to 365 degrees F. Deep fry until golden brown.  Each batch should include enough cookies to cover the surface of the oil. Any fewer and the oil gets too hot and browns the cookies before they are cooked through. Stir the cookies while they fry so they do not stick together. Remove cookies just as they turn a light milk chocolate color or a little before. Drain on paper towels.

In a large pot heat the honey and when it is bubbling add the cookies. Toss the cookies several times as they coating with honey. If the cookies absorb all the honey, add more – they should be fully saturated. 


NOTE: My grandfather used to make them all the times we were craving them without tossing in honey. They are very common in my village Olivadi and neighbors towns, where are usually called Muriniaddi or Ravioli. 

They are a great snack or afternoon treat to accompany your coffee.

Buon Appetito!


Zeppole Calabresi

• 1.5 kg of flour

• 500 g of potatoes

• 4 grams of dry active yeast

• about 1 l of water

• 30 g of salt


To fill:

• anchovies, ‘nduja, caciocavallo, soppressata,


Wash the potatoes and put them in a saucepan with salt water and cook for 30 minutes from the moment it starts boiling. Do the toothpick test anyways.

When cooked, peel the potatoes while still hot. and pass them in the potato masher.

Meanwhile, in a large container pour about half a liter of water and dissolve salt and mashed potatoes.

Dissolve yeast in the other half liter of lukewarm water. Once the salt and the yeast have melted, start to incorporate flour, continuing to knead vigorously until you get a smooth and kind of sticky dough.

Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rise for about 3 hours of doubling.

After rising, the dough should be soft and slightly sticky. To form the zeppole, rub your hands with canola oil and take one piece of pasta at a time. Fill them with a piece of anchovy or with the ingredient of your liking.

Fry in plenty of oil. To see if the oil is ready to fry dip a toothpick and if it is boiling around the wood then you are ready to fry.

NOTE: In Calabrian dialect they are called “Zippuli” (in the singular “zippula”), a term deriving from the late Latin “zippula”, which was a dessert prepared with leavened dough and honey.

Fried Stuffed eggplant

Ingredients: 16-20 servings

Small eggplant1 kg36 oz
Bread (2/3 days old)500 gr18 oz
Grated Pecorino Crotonese100 gr3 oz
Parsley60 gr2 oz
EVOO250 ml8 onces
SaltTo taste
Bread crumb (plain)If needed
Basil1 bunch
Garlic1 clove


You have the eggplants, cut the stem and then do it in half. Steam them in plenty of salt water, when they will be drained and left in a drain to lose excess water. Bring the old bread to soak in water. Bread needs to be squeezed to remove the exceeding water and make it as dry as possible.Once drained well, dig the eggplants’ pulp with a teaspoon so that the shells remain full. Squeeze the pulp until all the water is removed and put it in a bowl with the (wet) bread crumb, which is also well-wrinkled.Combine a small clove of crushed garlic, grated pecorino cheese, parsley, eggs and kneaded the whole thing.Mix well until the mixture is homogeneous and non-sticky, if it is moist, add grated bread until it is of the right texture. Fill the eggplant shells with the mixture obtained, helping with your hands and adding a little at a time.At this point, gently fry them in a little boiling oil until golden on the filling and for about a minute on the other side.Serving suggestions:White, just fried and served as appetizer.In a tomato sauce, lay them down in a tin and cover with tomato sauce to be baked for 20/30 minute before serving as entree.Stuffing variations: adding meat for a carnivore taste or adding anchovies, green olives and capers for a strong and kick flavour.

Fresh pasta made with an iron stick


Handmade wheat flour eggless noodles

Ingredients: 4 6 servings

Making pasta:

360 gr of flour – semolina or unbleached all-purpose or half and half
180 gr water – (approx

Sift the flour, place it on the wooden planter and form the classic fountain.

Dissolve the salt in the middle of a glass of lukewarm water and slowly pour salt water into the center of the fountain, beginning to collect the flour with your hands.

Continue kneading, pouring the water needed to get a compact and elastic dough.

Let it rest wrapped in the film, out of the fridge, for half an hour, so that the gluten, which has developed by kneading, relaxes and makes filing easier.

After the dough’s rest time, form about 10 cm long rolls and about 0.5 cm in diameter.

Infiltrate and roll them, one at a time, around a broken pole, called “dinacu” or “dinaculu”.

Pass the stick with the dough on the stack, making it roll with a slight pressure, so that, by stretching it, the pasta takes the elongated shape of the screw, which is typical of the fileja.

Remove the stick and place the paste obtained on a tray or flamed sheet, placing the files together, without overlapping them.

When finished, let the dough dry.