• Pasta Grammar

'Mpanatigghi Biscotti | Italian Meat Cookie Recipe

These cookies originated as a way to preserve precious meat for a long period of time. The meat was cooked into these sweet biscotti which could then be saved for an extended period. They're understandably for adventurous eaters but we highly recommend trying them!



Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:



Makes about 20 cookies.


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 5 tbsp (75g) lard or butter

  • 1 cup (200g) sugar

  • 2 tbsp Marsala wine

  • 1 large egg + 2 egg yolks

  • 3.5 oz. (100g) ground beef

  • 1/2 cup (50g) almonds

  • 1/2 cup (50g) shelled walnuts

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

  • 1.75 oz. (50g) dark chocolate, shaved or finely diced

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • Powdered sugar for topping



Combine the flour, lard, Marsala wine, 1/3 cup (65g) sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix all together by hand until smooth and even. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for 45 minutes.



Meanwhile, add the ground beef into a skillet over medium heat. Cook while breaking it up into a fine crumble until it is browned. Transfer into a mixing bowl.



Combine the almonds and walnuts in a blender or food processor and blend into a fine powder. Add this into the meat, along with the cinnamon, cloves, chocolate, baking powder, and 2/3 cup (130g) sugar. Mix thoroughly by hand.



After the dough has finished resting, roll it out into a large sheet until it is about 1/4-inch thick. While you work, dust it with a little flour if it sticks to your rolling pin or work surface. Use a circular cutter or mouth of a jar to cut it into roughly 4-inch diameter circles. Re-roll and cut the remaining dough until it is all finished.



Preheat an oven to 355 degrees F (180 C).


Place a large pinch (about a 1-inch ball) of the filling on one half of each dough circle. Fold the dough to form a half circle and use a fork to press the edges closed. Use a paring knife to cut a small cross-shaped vent in the tops of the cookies and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.



Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the dough is cooked and lightly golden. Allow to cool completely before topping with powdered sugar and serving. Buon appetito!




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