“Pizza Fritta” aka Fried Dough

Coast of Naples

Coast of Naples

When I was a little girl, my grandparents lived in Schnectady, NY.  Grandpa and grandma migrated here from Scilly, and like so many immigrants, came into this country through Ellis Island.  I will never know why, but they planted their roots in Schenectady, NY.  Grandpa opened a bakery and was well known for his wonder Italian Bread and Pizza.

Here comes the awful part of this story, unfortunately someone robbed the bakery and shot and killed my grandfather.  I don’t remember him…so my uncles took over the bakery….

Uncle John & Uncle Dick

Uncle John & Uncle Dick

During the summer months I would spend several weeks at grandmas house….I loved playing dress up with her clothes, jewelry and shoes….I would prance around the house and feel like a queen.  I loved waking up to the wonderful aroma of grandma making me pizza fritta (fried dough) for breakfast.  She would sprinkle sugar on top and it was the best!

Years later I found myself making this same wonderful comfort food for my own children.  During lent on Friday I would make Pizza Fritta and top it with sauce and a little sprinkle of parmesan.  Living in the east coast, this was always a BIG draw at local church fairs….

Here’s the recipe for both sweet and savory..

Pizza Fritta – Fried Dough

Pizza Dough:

1 package Fleischmann’s RR Yeast (http://www.breadworld.com)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 3/4 cup water – 115 degrees

4 1/2 – 5 cups flour

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a stand mixer, yeast will bloom in 3-4 minutes (this is known as “proofing” the yeast which means it’s active & good).  Add remaining ingredients.  Using a dough hook, mix ingredients on low until combined.  Increase to medium low and mix 9-10 minutes (this is known as “kneading” the dough.  If you do not have a stand mixer, the same process can be done in a large mixing bowl using your hands to “knead” the dough for 10 minutes.

Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow dough to double in size, approximately 1-2 hours (or overnight).

In a large skillet place 2-3 cups of corn or vegetable oil and heat over medium high.  While oil is heating up, tear off a 3 inch piece of dough, using your hands, flatten out like a pancake.  When oil has reached a 350 degree temperature, place dough in oil, cook 2-3 minutes, or until slightly golden, turn and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until dough is slightly golden.

Place cooked dough on a wire rack.  Top with favorite pizza sauce or cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bon Appetito!

Galena’s Pizza Sauce


16 ounce size plum tomatoes, chopped (Pomi Brand is recommended)

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine

1 teaspoon dry basil

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed

1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon butter

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan.  Simmer over low heat 20-30 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thick.

As seen on “Live at 9″….

Bon Appetito!!!

Classic Bolognese Sauce

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Years ago we had the opportunity to visit several cities in Italy.  I’m sad to say, however, that we didn’t make it to Bologna, which is the city Bolognese Sauce originated in.  Here is an explanation of the sauce (just incase you aren’t familiar with it) as written by Wikipedia:

Bolognese sauce, known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. InItalian cuisine, it is customarily used to dress “tagliatelle al ragù” and to prepare “lasagne alla bolognese”. In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine, or with short tube shapes, such as rigatoni or penne. Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a complex sauce which involves slow cooking using a variety of techniques, including sweatingsautéing and braising. Ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped meat (generally bovine, including beef, and possibly pork, such as pancetta), wine, and a small amount of tomato concentrate.

The earliest documented recipe of an Italian meat-based sauce (ragù) served with pasta comes from late 18th centuryImola, near Bologna. In 1891 Pellegrino Artusi first published a recipe for a meat sauce characterized as being “bolognese”. While many traditional variations do exist, in 1982 the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for authentic ragù alla bolognese with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. In Italy, ragù alla bolognese is often referred to simply as ragù.

Outside Italy, Bolognese sauce often refers to a tomato-based sauce to which mince (beef or pork) has been added; such sauces typically bear little resemblance to ragù alla bolognese. Whereas in Italy ragù is not used with spaghetti,[1] so-called spaghetti bolognese has become a popular dish in many other parts of the world.

I have to say, this is one of the easiest sauces I’ve ever made, just takes a little patience to complete the simmering process, but all good things take time.

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to do a little business traveling in New York City and made several shops in grocery stores, my favorite was one in Little Italy.  What always amazes me about shopping in these stores is the variety of fresh meats, salami, hanging from the ceiling, as well as many types of sausage.  I always feel like a kid in a candy store when I’m there.  The other food items that I am always intrigued with are all the different types of pastas, the good stuff, not store name brands, but the really good Italian pastas.  I purchased several varieties to bring back home, one of which was the Pappardelle.PapparelleThere is only one sauce to serve with this pasta, and of course, that would be the Bolognese.  Bolognese Sauce


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
2/3 cup white wine (dry)
1 cup milk
16 ounces good quality (Pomi brand) chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large stock pot over medium heat, add butter and oil.  Cook until frothy, add chopped vegetables and garlic.  Cook over medium low heat until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add meat and in batches, stirring after each addition and breaking up the meat clumps.

Deglaze pan with wine, simmer until reduced by half.  Add milk and once again simmer until reduced by half.  Add remaining ingredients, cook over medium low heat for 2-3 hours or until sauce becomes thick.  Serve with good quality pasta.  Top with Parmigiano Reggiano or, my personal favorite, Pecorino Romano.

Nothing like a little Italian Bread to go along with this meal, I was able to find a good loaf of bread at Fresh Market “Turano Panini Bread”.DSC_0019

Brush both sides of the bread with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Place on hot grill, cook until slightly golden, turn over and continuing cooking until brown.

Place shredded mozzarella over bread slices, top with sliced plum tomatoes, salt & pepper.  Place under broiler until cheese is golden brown.  Top with freshly diced basil.

Buon Appetito!

Jenny’s Favorite Birthday Cake

I know at this time of the year I should really be posting a good old Irish recipe, but since Jen’s birthday was the week before St. Patty’s day, thought I would post her favorite “Triple Chocolate Cake” recipe….this is definitely a chocolate lovers decant cake, especially good with ice cream….yum…


1 package chocolate cake mix

1 package chocolate instant pudding mix

1 ¾ cups milk

2 eggs

1 package chocolate chunks



¼ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar

¼ cup cream peanut butter

1 ½ tbsp. Milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract


1 package instant chocolate mix

½ pint heavy cream

1-cup milk

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, milk, and eggs in a large bowl and mix until well blended.  Beat with an electric beater for about 2 minutes.  Fold in the chocolate chunks.  Pour batter into a well-greased Bundt pan or two layer cake pans.  Bake at 350 for 50 – 55 minutes for Bundt pan or 25 – 30 minutes for 9” round pans.  Do not over bake.  Cool 15 minutes in pan; remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.

When cooled, beat filling ingredients together until creamy.  Cut cake in half.  Layer filling on top of cake and place the other half on top.  Beat frosting until creamy.  Frost cake and refrigerate or serve immediately.Chocolate Lover's Cake