Torcinelli (potato fritters with aniseed) recipes

Category: Cakes, Bread and Pastries

Torcinelli (potato fritters with aniseed)


  • 1 large or 2 small desiree potatoes (you need 175g cooked potato)
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1tsp instant dried yeast
  • 40g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 30ml tepid milk
  • 1 egg
  • 40g sultanas, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 1⁄2tsp aniseed
  • grapeseed or peanut oil, for frying
  • light olive oil, for rolling
  • ground cinnamon, for dusting


Makes 15

Scrub the potato and place in a small saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, peel and mash then set aside and keep warm.

Place the flour, yeast and sugar in a bowl and lightly whisk to combine. Add the warm mashed potato, milk and egg, and stir with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or stand mixer until the mixture is homogenous and smooth.

Drain the sultanas, squeeze out any excess liquid, then add them to the mixture along with the aniseed and a pinch of salt. Give it a final stir – the dough will be quite soft. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Heat enough oil for deep frying in a heavy-based saucepan or deep fryer to 180C. With well- oiled hands, take 1 heaped tablespoon of dough, roll into a short baton then twist so that they form the traditional shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.

In the hot oil, cook 3-4 torcinelli at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side until pale golden all over and cooked through. Break open the first torcinello to check it is cooked and adjust the oil temperature, if necessary, before proceeding with the remaining torcinelli.

Drain on kitchen paper, then transfer to a bowl and toss in the extra sugar while still warm. Dust over a little ground cinnamon just before serving.

Recipe credit: Recipes and photographs taken from Italian Street Food by Paola Bacchia, photography by Paola Bacchia and Ian Summers (Smith Street Books, £25)

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