Italian Carnival with Rice Doughnuts for St. Joseph’s Day (Frittelle di Riso di San Giuseppe)!

Frittelle di carnevale

“Acqua e chiacchiere non fanno Frittelle!” – Italian proverb

The Frittelle di Riso (Italian rice doughnuts) are a traditional sweet in the Tuscany region. Crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside with a light lemon flavour. The Frittelle are also called Frittelle di San Giuseppe (Italian rice doughnuts for St. Joseph’s Day) because it is tradition to prepare them between the beginning of Carnival and March 19, St. Joseph’s Day, also celebrated throughout Italy as Father’s Day.

Ingredients for 20 Frittelle

500ml milk; 60g flour; a pinch of salt; 100g rice; 25g butter; 5g baking powder; oil for frying; 30g granulated sugar (plus extra for coating); zest of lemon; 1 egg (separating the yolk from the egg white).


In a saucepan, pour the milk and sugar and a pinch of salt.

As soon as the milk starts to boil, add the rice and cook, stirring well over low heat until the liquid has been completely absorbed (about 30 minutes of cooking). Add butter and melt.

Remove from heat and cool the rice in a bowl for 2 hours.

Add the egg yolk and then gradually add the sifted flour and baking powder and lemon zest. Whisk the egg white and incorporate it into the dough. Mix well until mixture is smooth.

Divide the mixture into small balls of about 3 cm in diameter, using as a portioning spoon.

In a large pot heat the oil, then dip the Frittelle in the oil a few at a time.

When the Frittelle are golden brown, take them out and dry them on paper towels.

Roll the Frittelle di Riso di San Giuseppe in granulated sugar and serve hot.

*Chef’s Tip: The Frittelle should be floating in the oil while frying. Flip them every now and then so that they cook evenly. It should take about 4-5 minutes total for them to cook, so if you see after one minute they are already dark, it means that the oil is too hot. In which case, turn down the heat.


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