Recipe Cannariculi – Christmas sweets

Cannarìcoli – sigrid verbert CC BY-SA 3.0

Cannarìcoli – Christmas sweets

Cannarìcoli (or cannarìculi) are Christmas sweets from Basilicata and Calabria. Of arbëreshë origins, they are gnocchi made of flour, olive oil, and warmed wine, lined up on a wicker basket then fried and subsequently passed in the boiling grape must[. In Basilicata, where they are also called muzzicun or pr’ciedd, they are also produced in a salted version. The cannaricoli of Viggianello is recognized as a traditional food product of Basilicata.

In Calabria, they are called cannarìculi. Although their composition remains almost the same, the Alto Ionio tend to change their name outside of this. For example, Turdiddri (another familiar name in the region) is often accompanied by a sweet liqueur, typically a passito or a Moscato.

Cannarìculi is Christmas sweets from Calabria, called cannarìculi in the Alto Ionio, but they tend to change their name outside this area, despite their composition remaining almost the same.

They are gnocchi made of flour, olive oil, and heated wine, placed on a wicker basket and then fried and put in hot grape must.


As for every self-respecting homemade recipe, the indications about quantities are somewhat vague. Here, for a kilo of flour poured in a fountain, is measured two spoons of oil and four ladles of red wine and it is heated on low heat in a small pan before running them on flour.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup marsala wine
  • Two large eggs
  • Four teaspoons sugar
  • One pinch salt
  • oil for deep frying
  • honey

How to make the Cannariculi:

  • Make a well in flour in a mixing bowl or on a work surface.
  • Add wine, eggs, sugar, and salt.
  • Mix well until thoroughly blended.
  • Knead the dough vigorously until smooth and glossy.
  • If using a processor, continue mixing for at least 1 minute after ingredients are combined.
  • Roll dough to a 1/8″ thickness or less.
  • Cut dough into 2″ squares, starting with one corner, roll each square of dough loosely on
  • the diagonal to form a pastry roll about the thickness of a pencil.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying.
  • Fry pastries in batches in hot oil until golden brown, being careful not to crowd the pan.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove fried pastries from the oil.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Transfer to a serving platter.
  • Drizzle honey over the top or dip Cannariculi into honey.

How to make the Cannariculi – another version:

  • Mix then knead (if the dough is too dry, add a little oil/wine mixture, if it is too liquid add a little flour).
  • Peel off pieces from the dough and roll them to form 2cm diameter sausages. Pull off 3 cm pieces and pass each of them on a wicker basket pressing well, thus forming a concave dumpling.
  • Heat the oil for frying and throw in the dumplings, frying them for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Drain on kitchen paper and allow to cool completely. Pour some cooked must into a saucepan, heat over low heat and put in the cannaricoli a few at a time, for 1 minute, turning well so that the entire surface of the cakes is covered with cooked must.
  • Drain, allow to dry and place the cannaricoli in paper ramekins.

Serves 60

Cannarìcoli – Christmas sweet is a Regional recipe from Calabria.

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

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