Taralli or tarallucci are savoury snacks made with unleavened dough. They are found throughout the South of Italy, and there are different version of this recipe for Campania, Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata and Molise – but originally the taralli are from Apulia.
Most commonly, the taralli are prepared with fennel seeds, as in the recipe below. You can however also add chili flakes, anise or even small pieces of onion.
You can serve taralli for an aperitif with cheese and cold meat. It may sound weird, but they are often enjoyed dipped in wine! The two actually go so well together that there is even an Italian way of saying accounting for it: ‘to finish with taralli and wine’ is said of an uneasy situation which ends in harmony.
Makes about 10-12 Taralli | Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins
- Plain flour: 500 g
- Salt: 12 g
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 120 ml
- White wine, dry: 120 ml
- Fennel seeds: 1 tbsp
Mix together all the ingredients and knead the dough until it is elastic and has an homogeneous texture.
Cover the dough with clingfilm or a clean kitchen cloth and leave it to rest in a warm and dry place for about 30 minutes.
Bring to a boil a large pot of salted water.
Take a small portion of dough and roll into the shape of a breadstick, about 8-10 cm long and with a diameter of about 1 cm.
Close the breadsticks on themselves by overlapping the ends and crushing them with your finger so as to seal them.
Boil the taralli in small batches, about 5 at a time, and use a skimmer to remove them from the water as soon as they come to the surface. Place them on a kitchen cloth and leave them to dry for a few minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Grease a baking tray with olive oil and place the taralli on it making sure that they don’t stick to each other. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.
Tip: How do you know when your taralli are ready? Just try one – they should be crunchy like biscuits or breadsticks. If it still feels moist, leave them in the oven for a few more minutes.
Leave your taralli to cool down completely on a wire rack before serving them.