Calabrian “Curujicchi” | Savory Italian Donut Recipe
Updated: Feb 21
A Calabrian delicacy, this version of the highly regional "curujicchia" hails from the village of Dasà. A light, fluffy and savory potato donut, it is typically eaten on Christmas Eve but is absolutely delicious any time of year.
How to Make the Best Potato Donuts
Treating the potato(es) correctly will go a long way to making sure you achieve the perfect curujicchi texture. Be sure to boil your potato with the skin on—this will help it from absorbing too much water.
It’s also important to get the right ratio of potato to donut. Because every potato holds a different amount of water, depending on how fresh it is, you’ll need to weigh the amount you need after boiling it. We recommend starting with a really big russet potato to make sure you have enough in the end. Worst case, you’ll have some extra mashed potatoes to eat!
The amount of water needed to mix into the dough can also vary. Start with a small amount, about 1/4 cup, and gradually add more until you arrive at a dough that is soft and smooth but not sticky. Don’t worry, you can always remedy a sticky dough with a little extra flour.
Craving Something Sweet?
In Dasà, curujicchi are sometimes served sweet instead of savory, but not by adding sugar into the dough. Simply try dipping a curujicchia into some honey!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make curujicchi here:
Makes: 8-10 donuts
Cook Time: Up to 8 hours, mostly unattended
For this recipe, you will need:
1-2 large russet potatoes (you’ll need to measure out 250g AFTER boiling)
4 1/8 cups (500g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/4 tsp (3.5g or half a packet) active dry yeast
2 tsp (10g) salt
Extra virgin olive oil for frying
Medium saucepan or pot
Potato ricer or masher
Deep skillet or frying pan
Tongs or 2 forks
Boil the potato(es), skin on, until a paring knife can easily be inserted (about 45 minutes). Drain the potato and allow it to cool to the touch. Peel the potato and measure out 250 grams with a kitchen scale. Save the remainder for use elsewhere or discard.
Pour the flour into a pile on a large work surface and use your hand to form a depression in the center, making a volcano shape. Use a potato ricer to mash the 250g of potato into the center (you can also mash the potato in a separate bowl with a masher or fork, then add it to the flour). Add the yeast as well and roughly mix all together by hand.
Time to start mixing water into the dough. You want just enough to bind the dough without making it sticky, and the amount will depend on the quality of the potatoes/flour. Start by adding 1/4 cup (60ml) of water plus the salt. Knead the water in until it is well-incorporated. If the dough is still dry, continue to knead in a small amount more at a time until the dough is soft and smooth but not sticky. If you go too far and the dough becomes sticky, simply dust it with a little more flour.
Form the dough into a ball. Dust a large bowl with flour and place the dough into it. Dust it with some more flour, then use a sharp knife to make a big, shallow “X”-shaped incision on top. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 4-6 hours, or until it doubles in size.
Fill a large skillet with 2-3 inches of olive oil and bring up to a high temperature on the stovetop. No need for thermometers—just drop a small morsel of dough in to see if it's ready. When the oil bubbles furiously upon contact, it is hot enough to fry.
While the oil heats, break off a handful of dough about the size of a baseball and roll this under your palms until it forms a short "rope" about 12 inches (30.5cm) long. Press the ends together to form a donut shape and place on a surface dusted with flour. Repeat with the remainder of the dough to form 8-10 donuts.
Fry the curujicchi one at a time or in batches of 2-3, depending on how big your frying pan is. Carefully place each donut into the oil and fry, turning often with forks or tongs, until golden brown on all sides. You may need to hold them vertical to fry the sides evenly.
Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to cool slightly. Serve fresh and warm.