Aw, Wednesday. Wednesday was a magical, snowy day. It was the kind of day where you want to just sit in a hot bath, watch snow fall outside the window, and listen to Kenny G… er, I mean, Radiohead. I took advantage of this snow day by embarking on an ambitious baking mission. After talking about Italy at a dinner party with some friends, I couldn’t get a certain food out of my mind – taralli. Taralli is an oval-shaped, southern Italian snack food. Similar to a cracker, this treat is commonly enjoyed with, and even dunked in, a glass of wine. Thomas and I must have snacked on millions of them while in Naples, and we consequently enjoyed just as many wines. Taralli and wine are like Italy’s version of cookies and milk. They just go together!
I wanted to spice up my taralli by adding gorgonzola cheese, so I strapped on my snow boots and trekked over to the neighborhood cheese shop, which thankfully was open on such a snowy day. When I got home with the gorgonzola, I realized that I didn’t have enough flour, so on went the snow boots again, and off I went to a neighbor’s house. Now, equipped with all of my ingredients, I started my arduous journey of making taralli. This is the perfect food to bake if you are snowed in and have a few hours to spare. This recipe makes a massive amount of taralli, so be sure to either have enough wine on hand (for dunking purposes) or share them with your other snowed-in neighbors. Can you guess which option I chose?
Makes about 110 tarallis. Note: I used whole-wheat flour to make them a bit healthier. If you would like a more traditional batch of taralli, just use regular all-purpose flour (4 cups total).
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 ¼ cups dry white wine
1 ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and form a ball of dough. Flour your work surface. Take small amounts of dough and roll into long ropes, about the width of a pencil. Cut into smaller ropes about 6 inches long and shape them into rings, pinching them at the ends. Continue to form rings with the remainder of the dough.
On the stove top, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the rings, about 7 or 8 at a time. After the rings begin to float, remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Let them drain and dry as you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the rings in a single layer. They can be close together since they will not rise or expand. Bake for 20 minutes, flip them, and then continue to bake for another 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. Pour some delicious wine and enjoy!
Don’t they look like little fish? Look at this guy. He can’t wait to jump into the vino!
Yes, my little fishies, go toward the wine! That's it. Yes, just like in Italia!