Gnocchi Fritti with Salumi

Gnocchi Fritti with Salumi

Want a delicious, abundant, stress free feast for a large gathering? The key is platters of simple food that can be assembled ahead of time. Make the centrepiece an array of salumi (I love Salumi Australia’s selection): pancetta, different salamis, bresaola, spreadable spicy ‘nduja, mortadella and delicate Prosciutto di San Danielle. Add a side of smoked salmon, some vegetarian antipasti and a big batch of gnocchi fritti and let everyone help themselves. Gnocchi fritti are crisp puffs of deep-fried dough served with salumi all over Emilia-Romagna, they’re also popular in neighbouring Lombardy where they’re called chisolini. They’re best eaten warm fresh from the oil … but can be reheated in the oven for a few minutes; the dough can be made up to a day before and refrigerated (just bring it back to room temperature before cooking). Start with a prosecco cocktail, then move on to a crisp Aussie Italian white like Dal Zotto fiano and enjoy a feast where both you and your guests get to relax!

Makes about 60 pieces

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • ⅔ cup lukewarm water
  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes, crushed
  • 50g butter, diced
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Method
  1. Sprinkle yeast over water, cover and set aside for 10 minutes or so, until starting to froth.
  2. Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Add salt, butter and water mixture and mix well to form a dough; I use a firm spatula or pastry scraper to start with then bring it together with my hands.
  4. Tip onto a lightly flour-dusted work surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth and no longer sticky.
  5. Form into a ball, dust lightly with flour, place in a clean bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size.
  6. Place on a lightly dusted work surface and roll to a thickness of about 3mm.
  7. Cut into 5cm squares, cover with a clean cloth and set aside for about 10 minutes, until slightly risen.
  8. Meanwhile, heat oil for deep-frying.
  9. Cooking just a few at a time, and keeping the rest covered, deep-fry the squares for a minute or so each side, until golden. I find they puff up best if you add them to the oil so that the softer side (that’s been in contact with the plate) goes into the oil first.
  10. Drain on paper towel and serve warm with salumi.

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