Pignolata is made of fried balls of dough dipped in honey. Pignolata is traditionally made in both Calabria and Sicily and each has its own variant so keep in mind that these tiny delights could appear in multiple regions and may have different names. But if you ask anyone in my family in Calabria what they would traditionally eat as a sweet on Christmas Eve or Day, they would say Pignolata! It is one of the most popular southern Italian sweets made for Christmas. It takes a little patience to prepare it but the result will not disappoint you.

500 g 00 flour
4 eggs
40 g olive oil
3tablespoon white wine or any sweet liquor
Grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons of caster sugar

400 g wildflower honey
140 g caster sugar


We mix all the ingredients (without any order), adding water if the dough is too dry. The dough must have a soft and elastic consistency.

After obtaining a smooth and elastic dough, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 mins.

After resting, we take the dough and cut it into small pieces.

With each piece we make cords about 4 mm thick and out of each cord we cut pieces about half a centimeter long. Remember the small balls double size up when frying.

We proceed like this until all the dough is used up. Place the little pieces on more than one plate and be careful to don’t let them stick with each other.

We fry the balls in abundant oil, until they become golden.

We heat the honey and sugar together.

We pour the balls of pignolata in honey, covering them well and once soaked with honey move to a plate or into paper cups. Enjoy them!

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