Yeah, yeah I know….. fried dough doesn’t sound all that inviting…it’s not as pleasant-sounding as doughnut or as exotic as beignet but trust me, Petulla are fried pieces of heaven to our family. There are many variations in the world when it comes to fried dough. These petulla can be eaten alone (the way I like them) or with feta cheese or with honey or both as my husband and son like them. They can also be covered with powdered sugar…to do this I place some powdered sugar in a clean paper lunch bag….toss in a couple of petulla and shake until they are coated with the sugar. My son and I like to look at the odd shapes and see if we can identify objects in the shapes just like you would do with clouds in the sky.
I grew up on these but my mother didn’t teach me the recipe. She is old school so she doesn’t measure her ingredients with measuring cups and spoons and I don’t like to cook or bake without those measuring devices. I came across my recipe in the most unexpected of places….The Sopranos Family Cookbook. I bought the cookbook because I loved the TV show and I love Italian food….but the recipe I’ve used the most in this book was the Zeppole recipe. I was floored when I saw the Zeppole picture….they looked exactly like Petulla! So I tried the recipe but I was slightly disappointed…it was close to my mom’s petulla but something was missing. I thought back to the way my mom made it and I realized that she put eggs into her batter. I tried the altered recipe and SUCCESS! I turned an Italian zeppole recipe into an authentic Albanian petulla recipe.