Try Pizzarelle, Rome’s Fried Matzo Fritters, For Passover

Written by Katie Parla on April 17, 2016


A few days a year, Boccione “Il Forno del Ghetto,” the generations-old kosher bakery on Via Portico d’Ottavia, sells pizzarelle. The bakers make them only during Passover, and due to restrictions on working, the bakery is closed during most of the holiday. If you time it right, this highly seasonal specialty can be yours. Otherwise, drop by Boccione for their year-round non-Passover classics like thick ricotta cakes and biscotti con mandorle e cannella. And don’t be turned off by the slightly charred tops of, well, everything they sell. It’s the trademark of this well-loved institution​. In case you do miss it, though, you can try the recipe for your own Passover table.


4 sheets matzo
1 large egg, separated
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
Pinch of sea salt
Neutral oil, for frying
Honey, for serving


Break the matzo into large pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Pour over about 1½ cups water, being sure that the edges of the matzo are covered. Soak the pieces for 15 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes, until soft and damp and no hard bits remain.

Drain and squeeze any excess water out of the matzo and transfer to a separate medium bowl. Add the egg yolk, sugar, pine nuts, raisins, orange zest, and salt and mix well. In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg white to stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg white into the matzo mixture until no streaks remain, taking care not to deflate.
In a small skillet, heat 2 inches of neutral oil to 350°F. Using two spoons or a small ice cream scoop, carefully drop small rounds of the batter into the hot oil. Fry in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning once to ensure even cooking.

Drain on paper towels for a few minutes, then transfer to a plate and drizzle with honey before serving.

Reprinted from Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City. Copyright © 2016 by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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