Gnocco fritto or fried gnocco is known as the fast food of Modena and can be consumed them plain for breakfast, or at lunch accompanied with salami and soft cheese.
250g 00 flour
80ml sparkling water
20g lard, chopped in small cubes and kept at room temperature. Lard is used in the traditional recipe but you can substitute this with olive oil or butter using the same amount
Pinch of salt
40ml full-fat milk
1.5 litres of vegetable oil (for frying)
In a bowl, add all flour, salt and lard (or olive or butter) and mix together well until there are no more lumps of lard. Add the milk and sparkling water and mix well again to combine.
Transfer the dough to the table and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. Cover it and let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. This helps to hydrate the flour and strengthen the gluten.
Remove from the fridge and roll the dough until it is 0.3 cm in thickness (a little thicker than a penny) using either a rolling pin or your pasta machine. Add more flour if your dough becomes too sticky.
Cut the dough into however you like it, be it rectangles or triangles, just make sure the pieces are equal and at least 8cm in size.
Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan until it reaches 180°C. Using tongs, fry the gnocco in batches. Gently fry your gnocco, ensuring each side is nice and golden.
Remove from the oil and place on greaseproof paper or kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
Serve them as an antipasti with your choice of cured meats and cheeses or to accompany your main meal as an alternative to bread. Enjoy!