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Sweet Xmas Italian Style (London)


Christmas is coming and in the South of Italy, more than in any other place of the so-called “boot”, the respect for the traditions is amazingly strong especially in the kitchen where cooking become a sizzling occasion to spend some good time together between a chat and a glass of wine!
Among the several gourmand Italian recipes, I am going to tell you about some sweets which you can’t miss at Christmas if you're spending it with the people from Puglia, and why not make them for yours as well, wherever you are?
“Sannachiudere” are small Christmas sweets belonging to the culinary tradition of Taranto (Puglia region), in the South of Italy. Their name come from "s'hanno a chiudere", that is "si devono chiudere" (they must be closed) as for the tradition they were so tasty and scrumptious that they had to be stored and locked onto a cabinet to avoid children to eat and finish them before Christmas.
It’s a simple sweet but delicious and perfect to give a touch of colour and sweetness on your Christmas table and also it might be an innovative gift idea!

“Sannachiudere” Ingredients:
1kg. flour
200gr. Sunflower oil
1 egg
Orange zest
750gr. honey
4/5 tablespoons of white sugar
2/3 tablespoons of anise or lemon liquor
1 glass of white wine

Warm the oil into a big saucepan and make it really hot, then add a few orange peels and fry them so then you can switch the flame off and wait for the oil to get cold. Take a big bowl and mix flour, egg, cloves, sugar, anise or lemon liquor, white wine and oil. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl using your hands as long as the mixture is solid enough then start kneading on a wood table and make some sticks of a finger’s thickness. Cut the mixture in small pieces and roll them up on a grater to give them a kind of striped gnocchi shape. Fry them in a saucepan full of oil. When you have finished frying them, you can start melting the honey into another saucepan. In the meanwhile keep your Sannachhiudere into a bowl covered of kitchen towels in order to absorb the oil. Now you can put them into the saucepan filled of honey and stir them softly. Pour them in a big tray or in some small colourful plates and top with honey and decorate them with coloured sugar and walnuts!
Bon appétit and Happy Christmas!
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