Easter Dolci – A Taralli that Floats on Air

Traditional Italian food of Easter typically includes: capretto o agnello al forno (roast lamb), cacioffi fritti (fried artichokes), pizza rustica (a pie stuffed with ricotta, sausage and hard boiled eggs), la colomba di Pasqua (a dove-shaped sweet bread). Taralli, cassatelli, biscotti di pignoli, pena di Pasqua (sweet bread with hard-boiled, pastel colored eggs baked in the center), and torta di ricotta (Ricotta cheese cake) are prepared in every Italian home.

Chocolate Easter eggs are a special treat for children in Italy. The “uovo di pasqua” – a large decorative chocolate egg that comes with a gift inside are beautifully wrapped in elaborate and colorful decorative foils weighing from a few ounces to about 18 pounds. Stores are filled with “uovo di pasqua” creating a psychedelic and festive atmosphere. In past times, parents would take the gifts to their cioccolataio (chocolate maker) and it would be placed inside the chocolate egg.

The taralli is a treasure from Apuglia and are eaten any time of the day. Simple yet delicious recipes are created with eggs and flour. Fennel seed, black pepper, red pepper flakes and wine added and formed into oval or round shapes. In southern Italy, taralli come in many sizes and flavors. These are typically referred to in Neapolitan dialect as “scaldetelli” little boiled things. Many, but not all taralli are dipped in boiling water before being baked creating a nice sheen on the outside. Some are baked and brushed with egg wash. Taralli are biscuits or snack food, but can also make an appearance as a dessert after a meal is over and dunked into wine. In our family they are the star of the Easter desserts along with the Ricotta Torta and Torta di riso. They are traditional desserts that make each and every day special and holidays a delight for everybody. The Italians have a saying “no matter what the argument it can be resolved over a glass of wine and handful of taralli”.

The Easter egg taralli (as I call them) are only made at Easter and have no other flavoring. Typically, taralli are not frosted, but there is a version called “Charmel” that are lightly frosted with a confectionary glaze and sprinkled with tiny colorful sprinkles. Egg taralli are hard, but as light as clouds. Our recipe for egg taralli are boiled and then baked turning a warm caramel color. I make large quantities of them and serve them in an Italian hand painted bowl from Apuglia. Taralli dunked in “Vino Santo”, a sweet Italian white wine coming from the Tuscany is like floating in air. Very appropriate for Easter!

Easter Egg Taralli
Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes at 400ºF or until light brown
Yield: 5 Dozen

Dough Ingredients
7 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oil
11 eggs

Add the salt to the flour in a large bowl. Mix the egg and oil into the flour and form a ball. This step can be done in a mixer. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it is smooth. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel. Let it rest in a warm place for an hour.

Roll out pieces of dough into 6” x 1” cylinders. Take each piece of dough and bring the ends together to form a doughnut shape. Press the ends together with your thumb.

Fill a large saucepan with water and let it to come to a boil. Drop them one at a time into the boiling water. When they rise to the top, remove them to a dry board or kitchen towel. Make a cut along the outside edge of the doughnut. This allows them to rise.

Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in a 400ºF oven until they are a light golden brown. The taralli will be hard on the outside, but light and airy on the inside. They are not sweet, but more like a biscuit. They will store in an airtight container for weeks.

Serve them with “Vino Santo”, a white sweet wine from the Tuscany.

‘Buona Pasqua!


~ by Patricia Turo on February 24, 2010.

6 Responses to “Easter Dolci – A Taralli that Floats on Air”

  1. very cool to FINALLY find a recipe where the taralli are actually cut
    around before baking. my grandma always did this on both her sweet
    and black pepper ones.no one ever cuts them and it was driving me
    crazy wondering if it was something someone in my family decided upon.
    very cool to see others do the same. my great grandparents were from
    montefalcone which is near naples



    • Hi Joe,

      Actually the only ones that my grandmother cut around the edges are the egg taralli. This is so that they can rise. I have several other recipes where this isn’t done. I’m in Italy quite a lot and have had many taralli and most are not cut. My grandparants came from Ariano, Avellino, not far from Naples. Most of our biscotti come from her or from my fathers family from Vieste, Foggia. I live in Switzerland and have gone to the Region many times. The recipes I write about are either my families (in the restaurant business) or from chefs who are good enough to give me recipes to publish. Thank you for reading my blog and hope you visit again.


  2. […] https://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/easter-dolci-a-taralli-that-floats-on-air/ […]


  3. I have one recipe that does not require any sugar this is great for anyone that cannot have suguar.

    6 uova (4 uova intere e 2 tuorli per l’impasto, perchè i due bianchi serviranno per il naspro ovvero per la glassa)
    1 kg di farina circa
    1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato

    miscelare la farina alle uova e al bicarbonato.
    impastare e se è troppo molle aggiungere altra farina.
    prenderne un pò alla volta e fare delle ciambelle rotonde con i buchi piccoli.
    per ogni uovo ne vengono fuori 2 circa.
    al lato di ogni ciambella gli devi fare un taglio lungo tutto il diametro della ciambella.
    cuocere nel forno già caldo in una teglia unta di strutto a 230 gradi per 15 minuti e senza aprirlo a 190 gradi per altri 5 minuti.

    2 tazze di zucchero
    mezza tazza di acqua
    2 bianchi d’uovo

    metter a cuocere dentro una casseruola a fuoco basso lo zucchero con l’acqua.
    aggiungere i bianchi d’uovo montati a neve fermissima facendoli crescere.
    avvolgere le ciambrelle.

    mangiarle fredde la glassa si asciuga.


  4. Reblogged this on Piacere – Food & Travel without rules!.


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