Skip to main content

Taralli con Finocchio (Savoury Fennel Biscuits)




These savoury fennel biscuits are a traditional favourite in every Italian family. There is a variation of these biscuits that uses aniseed liqueur (anice) and the aniseed seeds and call them 'Ossa di Morti' (Uosse demort') which translates as dead man's bones. Not very appetizing when you label them that way!  We call these biscuits Taralli con Finocchio.  

Traditionally these biscuits were made with lard but more recently that ingredient has been substituted with olive oil, which is far more flavoursome and healthier.  My mother has always used her own way of measuring - (all'occhio) not exact quantities, hence these biscuits have always turned out differently when she makes them.  Regardless... her grandchildren prefer Nonna's biscuits.   I was determined to make them and document this recipe that has been passed down from my Nonna. 



Taralli con Finocchio

Ingredients:

500 g plain flour
3 eggs 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water (if needed)
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 - 2 tbsp salt (to taste)


In a bowl, mix flour, salt and fennel seeds. Beat eggs and oil and combine all ingredients as though you were making home made pasta.  If the dough is too dry, you can add some water.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (10-15 minutes) and allow to rest. Divide dough into 6  portions and roll into logs.  Continue rolling out long finger thick strands approximately 10cm long and loop joining two ends to form into tear drops.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Drop three or four biscuits at a time and remove them once they rise to the surface.  Place on a tea towel, to allow to cool.  Arrange on a baking tray and bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

They are really nice to eat with antipasto and a glass of vino.  In fact my paternal grandmother used to dunk them in a glass of vino.

Enjoy!







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Panzerotti /Tortelli di Castagne & Cioccolato (Chestnut & chocolate filled morsels)

When I think of chestnuts, I reminisce about my birth town - Domodossola, where I was first introduced to this distinctive flavoured nut.  We were fortunate to live close to Sacro Monte Calvario, a mountain lined with chestnut trees. My mother cooked many dishes which used this flavorsome nut, especially sweets such as these panzerotti di castagne & cioccolato.  Withthis sweet mamma has more recently substituted the chestnut filling with chickpeas as they are readily available all year round and knowing that my papa`enjoys this sweetmade frequently.

Chestnut season is a favourite for our whole family and we are of the belief that if you've never had a freshly roasted chestnut you haven't lived. We often visit Daylesford in country Victoria around autumn to purchase them fresh and enjoy them roasted at the farmers markets.

This recipe is a variation of panzerotti / tortelli di ceci which I have shared previously with you.  The filling is more delicate in texture and lighter t…

Cucina Conversations: Cassatelle Siciliane

Cassatelle are typical Sicilian pastries filled with lemon scented ricotta, and also known as cassateddi in Sicilian dialect.  The name derives from the word cassata, and by adding the diminutive suffix ‘ella’ you get the word cassatella, a smaller individual serving. An assortment of these pastries can be found in different regions of Sicily and are considered traditional deserts for the Carnevale and Easter period. In researching this topic, I become enthralled by the history behind the most complex of cassate from Palermo through to these more simple-to-make pastries from Siracusa, and therefore could not help but share some of its history with you.
Sicily is known as the sweets centre of Italy, and it appears that the most colourful and famous cassatasiciliana in all its glory, is one of the reasons.  It is believed to have originated in Palermo, made with sheep’s milk ricotta – at its richest and herbaceous during Spring; and containing other ingredients prevalent to the area suc…

Cucina Conversations:Pasta Mollicata (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

We begin 2018’s Cucina Conversations calendar with the notion of ‘waste not, want not’. The subject here being stale bread or pane raffermo as it is known in Italian; and the endless uses of this staple ingredient found in every kitchen I’m sure.  Many would agree that it should never be thrown out just because it has passed its prime, in fact my nonne considered and mamma still believes that throwing out old bread is sacrilegious due to its religious significance.

One of the best things about bread second to enjoying it freshly baked, is its amazing ability to absorb other flavours and ingredients better when at least a day old. If you are not a big fan of day old bread, the simplest thing you can do with it is to turn it into bread crumbs, so don't throw it out. It has however subsequent thrifty uses and found in many Italian recipes. This month we share a few of those recipes and show you how a simple stale ingredient such as bread can be turned into a delicious meal.
I’ve ch…