Traditional Italian Pastry Recipes

Italian CastagnoleEnjoy Homemade Italian Castagnole
(Source: ©fiorellamacor/

Add these traditional Italian pastry recipes to your collection. For starters, you'll love the delicious taste of Annette's homemade Cassateddi di Ricotta turnovers. And Denise's Gram's fried fat balls (Castagnole) are an Italian comfort food you're sure to enjoy!

Traditional Italian Pastry Recipe

Submitted by Annette

Homemade Cassateddi di Ricotta

I make a half-moon fried ricotta filled dessert (ricotta turnovers) which I was told many years ago was called Cassateddi. —Annette

First, put 1 cup sugar in 1 cup warm water.

Dough: 5-plus cups flour with 6 tablespoons Crisco® solid shortening cut in. Make well in flour. Pour in sugar and water, little by little. Add 2 eggs. Knead into dough.

Filling: Ricotta, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and sugar to taste.

Roll out meatball-size dough balls. Fill with a hefty tablespoon of filling. Fold dough over. Pinch closed with fork.

Fry in Crisco® vegetable oil. Drain and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Refrigerate to cool. Hope you enjoy this take on a traditional Italian Cassateddi recipe.

Recipe for Italian Fat Balls - Castagnole

Submitted by Denise

Homemade Italian Carnival CakesMake Homemade Italian Fat Balls, Also Known as Castagnole
(Source: ©fiorellamacor/

Fat Balls are also known as Castagnole, Sweet Dough Balls, and Italian Carnival Cakes. They are deep fried pastry balls that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Castagnole are traditionally eaten during Carnevale, a colorful Italian Mardi Gras-like festival held in Italy before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, but the truth is they can be enjoyed the year-round.

Fried Fat Balls

My Italian "Gram" made these fried fat balls every Christmas! It's basically fried bread with raisins dipped in confectioners' sugar.

This traditional Italian pastry recipe makes an Italian comfort food you'll love! —Denise

4 cups flour
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons shortening
2 packages yeast dissolved in 3/4 cup warm water
1 cup raisins
4-3/4 cups warm milk

Knead ingredients 10 minutes, let rise, and punch down. Add 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups warm water and raisins; knead in and let rise to double size. (It will be very sticky!)

With a fork, drop globs of dough in 375°F oil until brown. (Not too large; otherwise, it won't be cooked in the middle.) Dip fried balls in confectioners' sugar. The best!!!

I've been looking for this recipe! My old Polish grandmother used to make them. They were like large donut holes, only a bit denser.

They had raisins right in the dough, not just a filling added after the balls were made. Also, they were rolled in granulated sugar when they were cool enough to handle.

Now, I will be able to make them! —Anon, USA

Traditional Italian Pastry Recipes

The Italian Cook Book (1919)

Torre del Mangia, Siena, ItalyHistoric Torre del Mangia in Old Siena, Italy
(Source: ©pitatatu/

Take the time to make these traditional Italian pastry recipes and expect to receive compliments from your friends and family. They'll marvel at how you made these classic Italian desserts.

Italian Rice Pie

Grandma Vigliotti writes, "My Italian Grandmother made this recipe for rice pie in front of me, and I can remember the basic ingredients."

4 cups of cooked white rice
4 eggs
4 cups of Sugar
4 tablespoons vanilla

"There was no crust. The ingredients were mixed, then put in glass pie pans and cooked at 400°F for 40 minutes."

Gnocchi di Latte - Milk Gnocchi Dumpling

Italian Gnocchi Served on a PlateMake Traditional Italian Milk Gnocchi Dumpling
(Source: ©oxyzay/

Ingredients: One quart of milk; sugar, nine ounces; cornstarch in powder, four ounces; eight yolks of eggs, a taste of vanilla.

Mix everything together as you would do for a cream and put on the fire in a saucepan, continually stirring with a ladle. When the mixture has become hard keep it a few moments more on the fire and then pour it in a plate to make it about half an inch thick and cut it into diamonds when it is cold.

Put these diamonds one over the other with symmetry in a baking tin or in a fireproof glass plate, with some little pieces of butter in between, and brown them a little in the oven. Serve hot.

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