While the bakeries sold fancy concoctions for the feast day, my Italian grandmother used a fast and easy traditional recipe for a bite-sized donut covered in powdered sugar, resembling a beignet. You can whip up a batch in about ten minutes – best when hot.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
Mix dry ingredients together. Stir vanilla and ricotta into beaten eggs. Combine dry and wet ingredients. The dough will be sticky.
Heat about 2 inches oil (the only oil my grandmother used for everything was olive oil but you can use vegetable oil, if you prefer) in a pot.
When oil is hot, drop a tablespoon of dough into the oil and fry until puffed and brown – about 3 minutes – flipping over about halfway through. Try your test donut to check the timing – break it open and eat it.
Continue cooking, about three or four at a time. Then transfer finished zeppole to a dish with a paper towel to absorb the oil. Roll in powdered sugar and eat hot. Try not to eat them all yourself.