Taralli 'nzogna e Pepe | Neapolitan Almond Taralli Biscuit Recipe
There are a few different kinds of taralli “biscuits” in Italy, but these are our favorite. Hailing from Naples, where they can be found on every street corner, Taralli ‘nzogna e Pepe are big, bold, spicy and absolutely delicious.
The Secret to Making Perfect Neapolitan Taralli
Pork lard. That’s the secret! And no, it cannot be substituted. Lard is what gives these taralli their incredible, flaky texture that is both crunchy and soft at the same time. Before you click away to look for a healthier recipe, it’s worth remembering that lard has less saturated fat (bad fat) and more monounsaturated fat (good fat) than butter. While lard may not be as healthy as olive oil, this is a recipe that’s worth doing right so… bring on the lard!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make Neapolitan Taralli here:
TARALLI ‘NZOGNA E PEPE RECIPE
Makes: 10 taralli
Cook Time: 4-5 hours, largely unattended
For this recipe, you will need:
1 1/2 tsp. (6g) active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. (2g) white sugar
2 1/8 cups (260g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2/3 cup (75g) whole almonds
6 1/2 tbsp. (85g) lard
2 tsp. (10g) salt
1 tsp. (2g) fine black pepper
Start by making a pre-fermented poolish starter. In a mixing bowl, combine 8 tsp. (40ml) of water with the yeast and sugar. Stir until the yeast dissolves. Add 6 1/2 tbsp. (50g) of all-purpose flour and mix all together thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, or until the poolish develops lots of little bubbles.
While the poolish matures, toast the whole almonds in a medium/hot pan for 2-3 minutes, stirring or tossing frequently. Roughly chop them and set aside for later.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour with the lard, salt and black pepper. Add 10 tsp. (50ml) of water. Mix together in the bowl by hand, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Flatten the dough out into a pancake shape, and pour the chopped almonds on top. Fold them in and give the dough a quick knead to distribute them. If the dough is too sticky, you can lightly dust it with flour but try to use as little as possible.
Cut the dough into 20 equal pieces. Take two of these pieces and roll each of them under your palm into a short snake, about the width of a thumb. Gently twist these around each other, bring the ends together and press them closed. The result should be a circle of dough made from two spiraling strands. Place the tarallo on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat to make the other 9 biscuits.
Cover the baking tray with a clean towel and let the taralli rest at room temperature for 2 hours. This is important, even though they won’t appear to rise at all. Preheat an oven to 355 degrees F (180 C). Bake the taralli for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
For yummiest results, eat the taralli warm and fresh. They’re great cold, too, and will keep very well in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.