My husband's grandmother is an amazing cook. She lives in Emilia-Romagna, the kitchen of Italy. My husband rushed over to Italy to visit her when she was hospitalized two years ago. She looked up from the hospital bed and her greeting was "Are you hungry? Has any one fed you yet?" She's home now and we're all thankful she is well.
Today, at 91 years of age, she has passed on her skills and recipes to her daughter and I am trying to absorb as much as I can. They gave me this recipe which is a childhood favourite of my husbands. I'm including both the original Italian as a tribute to Nonna and my translation/interpretation. This recipe is huge, as I discovered. We had enough chizze for three days of meals.
Chizze - Fried Gnocchi
2.2 pounds of cake flour, 1 kg
4-5 tablespoons oil, 60 - 75 mL
2 cups milk, warm, 1/2 L
1 ounce salt, 30 gr
(if you would like, a bit of baking powder - it will lighten the dough)
1 pound Emmenthal cheese, 500 gr
Oil for frying
Mix the flour, oil, salt and baking powder and add the warm milk a little at a time. Mix and knead well. Roll the dough thinly and cut into squares about 10 cm square. Put a slice of emmenthal or swiss cheese on the square and fold the dough over it. Pinch closed - use a bit water if the dough has dried and won't stay closed. Fry in a generous amount of hot oil; the gnocco should float. Brown on one side and turn. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Instead of milk, use carbonated water and a bit of yeast. I added about 2 teaspoons of yeast to the dough and let it rest for an hour to develop the flavour.
To pronounce chizze. Start with pizza ... now say kizza. You're close. Switch into Canadian by saying kizz - eh. Sounds like Keats-eh?
If you're curious about the different classifications of flour between Italy and North America check out this website http://www.theartisan.net/flour_table_of_contents.htm
Gnocco Fritto e Soffice
1 kg farina 00
4-5 cucchiai olio
½ L latte
30 gr sale
(se vuoi, un pizzico di bicarbonate)
Mescolare farina, olio e sale (e bicarbonate) e aggiungere poco alla volta il latte intiepidito. Impastare bene. Ricavare quadrati sottili e friggere in abbondante olio bollente. Scolare su carta assorbente.
Mettere emmenthal a pezzetti sui quadrati di pasta e piegarli a meta’ chiudendo bene (premere) Friggere come sopra.
Al posto del latte, mettere acqua frizzante e un pizzico di lievito.