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The appetizer is served with the Tuscan zonzelle!

Tuscan Zonzelle

The Tuscan zonzelle are a tasty appetizer, a typical Italian product that consists in the creation of a soft salty fried dough.

From the Italian gastronomic repertoire, we re-fish the original recipe of Tuscan zonzelle. It is a very simple preparation and to be done with few ingredients. Specifically, it is the recipe for a salty fried dough, a flour-based dough and little else that is cut into a rectangular shape . These little delights are fried and salted, then they can be served with cured meats and cheese, making for a truly inviting appetizer. Also called Tuscan damsels, they deserve to be tried at least once!

Tuscan Zonzelle
Tuscan Zonzelle

Preparation of the recipe for the Tuscan zonzelle

  1. Heat half of the total amount of water in a saucepan on the stove, then immerse the brewer’s yeast. Stir to make it melt.
  2. Sift the flour and pour it on a pastry board or in a bowl. Create a dimple in the center and fill it with the mixture of water and yeast, mixing everything with your hands.
  3. Once blended, add the olive oil in the center and incorporate it. Do the same with the remaining water and add a pinch of salt.
  4. Continue to knead with your hands on the pastry board, until it is homogeneous and elastic .
  5. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and let it rise for 1 hour , in a place away from drafts.
  6. After this time, divide it into four parts . Flour the pastry board and, using a rolling pin, roll out each portion to obtain a rectangular sheet, with a maximum thickness of 1 cm . Then, cut it into many small rectangles with a wheel.
  7. Once you have created the zonzelle, move on to frying. Fill a pan with seed oil and put it on the stove to heat it up.
  8. Dip a few pieces in the oil at a time. When each one swells and becomes golden it is ready, you can drain with a slotted spoon and place on a tray covered with absorbent paper.
  9. Once finished, sprinkle with a handful of salt and let it cool.


This Tuscan recipe is suitable for a delicious appetizer. You can keep the zonzelle for 1 day . Alternatively, you can keep the raw dough in the fridge for 12 hours .

For an alternative aperitif, also try the crunchymother-in-law’s tongues .

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