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Zeppole are so easy to make—after all, they are basically just fried pizza dough balls—it is almost embarrassing to post about it, but since it was one of my favorite snack foods that Angelina made, it deserves pride of place on this blog. And, in any event, who doesn't like fried dough?

Cook time:


  • Pizza dough
  • Anchovy fillets
  • Plenty of olive and/or vegetable oil for frying


  1. Zeppole can be sweet or savory. Angelina would make the savory variety. Simply make a regular batch of pizza dough (see my post on Angelina's pizza casereccia for the recipe) and, grabbing a walnut-sized ball of dough, make a well in the middle of the ball with your finger and place a single anchovy fillet inside. Then bring the sides around the fillet to cover the well and form a nice ball. You may need to roll the dough around in your hands a bit to make sure the opening is well sealed. Continue in the same fashion with the rest of the dough.
  2. Now fry them gently in olive oil, or a mix of olive and canola oil, until they are nice and golden brown on all sides. It will take no longer than five minutes or so. Regulate the temperature so they do not brown too quickly, before the insides have a chance to cook. They will swell up as they fry, which is exactly what you want. Drain them on paper towels or on a rack.
  3. Zeppole are really best eaten right away, but you can keep them warm in a slow oven, on a baking rack placed over a cookie sheet, or even reheat them later. They will lose a bit of their crispiness but none of their goodness.
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  • Stacey Maupin Torres
    January 11, 2011
    These are a lot of fun, extremely easy to make, and just plain good! Perfect for parties, snacking, or any time. Thank you for this one, Frank!
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Patricia Turo
      January 16, 2011
      My grandmother also made Zeppole and we had them both sweet with apples and other ingredients and with baccala. We have lost the baccala recipe and I've been looking for one ever since. She didn't use pizza dough however. If anyone happens to find a recipe with baccala I would appreciate the recipe. I've tried several recipes but they aren't as light as hers. We all love fried dough tossed in sugar.
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


      • ShaleeDP
        March 14, 2013
        This sounds new to me. It would be nice to try this soon. Hopefully I do it right :)
        • karen
          January 15, 2011
          1 reply
          • Frank Fariello
            January 16, 2011
            @karen: Depends on where you're from. My grandmother Angelina, from a town close to Benevento, called these zeppole, and so I will call them also. Pettole is apparently the name they use in Puglia and Basilicata. If you read the full article found on my blog, you will find it also mentions the sweet variety and the custom of eating them on San Giuseppe. In case you're interested, here's another article on this use of the word zeppole:
          • Deena Montillo
            January 12, 2011
            My husband's family also makes zeppole. We love them! Is your family from Calabria, too?
            1 reply
            • Frank Fariello
              January 16, 2011
              From Campamia, but (as mentioned in the article on my blog) I understand they also eat these in Calabria and, in fact, all over southern Italy, in fact,with various names. Anyway you call them, however, they pretty delicious!
            • Sara Schewe
              January 11, 2011
              They may be easy to make, but sometimes we need to be reminded that good, fun food doesn't have to be complicated. :)

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