My husband is 100% Italian. As far as I know, I’m 100% Texan. He has a great ethnic heritage; I am more of a mutt.
In my family, we followed recipes – usually cut from local newspapers or found in tried-and-true cookbooks. In his family, recipes were passed down from generation to generation, rarely written down, requiring more of a hands-on apprenticeship.
So when we married, I began training.
Geoff focuses on the pasta recipes (stuffed shells with Italian “gravy” are his specialty) while I have tried to learn the traditional holiday dishes. Tarrellas were often served at Easter.
While Geoff’s grandmother, the youngest in a family of eight, was born in the United States, several of her siblings came from the “old country.” I think the Italian spoken in the home was a mix of English, Italian, and some unknown dialect.
Cora’s recipe is called Tarella … although she pronounced it “Tah-dall” … and when I did a google search, most recipes are known as Taralli. Slightly confusing…
Before traveling to Italy last spring, I would have described this bread product as an Italian bagel. A very bland, lighter bagel. However, in Italy they are more like a snack cracker – similar to the way we eat pretzels. And they come in a variety of savory as well as sweet flavors.
This recipe, however, is the one that is near and dear to my husband’s heart. It is his comfort food – and while a little time consuming to make, I don’t mind this labor of love.
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2.5 cups flour (plus a little more)
- Beat the eggs, salt, pepper and oil and then slowly add the flour
- Turn mixture onto floured board and knead about 10-15 minutes, adding flour as needed. Dough should no longer be sticky but soft and elastic
- Let rest about 15 minutes, and then knead a few more times
- Cut small pieces of dough and form into individual rings (in Italy the rings are small – about 2 bites, but Cora made them as large as bagels)
- Drop rings into boiling water for about 10 minutes (don’t crowd… about 4-5 at a time is ample)
- Remove from boiling water and let cool
- When they are cool, place on baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes
This post is a part of BethFishReads’ Weekend Cooking link-up. For more delicious recipes, please visit this weekly blog feature.