Carnival Recipe: Castagnole di Ricotta (Ricotta Donuts)

This seasonal delight is easy to make, and will easily please.

By: Francesca Montillo, Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures

Castagnole di ricotta, or ricotta donuts, are an indulgent treat typically enjoyed in Italy during the season of Carnival, which kicked off Feb. 16 in Venice and all over Italy. Fried foods such as chiacchierestruffoli, zeppole or these castagnoleare traditional for this time of year as a treat before the season of fasting during lent.

Here, I dusted them with cinnamon sugar, and topped them off with confectioners sugar as well. Because, you know, two sugars are always better than one! These are best enjoyed the same day they’re made, but they should be left to cool off completely after frying and before enjoying them. Instead of the sugars, you can also opt to drizzle some fresh honey over them.

These treats are incredibly easy to make. So easy in fact, that I think you would rather choose to make them at home than getting in the car to get to the local donut shop. They only have a handful of ingredients and come together in less than 5 minutes. Kids love these, as do adults! And don’t worry, you don’t just have to make these during carnival, they’re great year round!

Depending on the brand of ricotta you use, you may want to drain it on some paper towels for a few minutes, if it’s too wet. Mix the sugar with the zest in order to gain maximum flavor.
With a whisk, blend the ricotta, egg, sugar and zest. Be delicate, you don’t want to beat up the dough, just blend the ingredients.
Add the flour and baking powder and mix well using a hand whisk. Shape them into desired size, I admit, these are a bit on the larger size. Depending on the size, you will end up with anywhere from 18 – 28 castagnole.
Right out of the hot oil, roll them in cinnamon sugar so that the sugar adheres nicely while they’re still hot.

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