At Carnival, every joke counts and, above all, every excuse is good for playing, being creative and going outside the box, even in the kitchen!

Maria Teresa Di Marco, from la Cucina di Calycanthus, has created a very original recipe for IVSI – Istituto Valorizzazione Salumi Italiani -: bomboloni con la mortadella.

‘This recipe is a gamble,’ says the author, ‘but absolutely effective. We have reinterpreted the classic doughnut, turning it into a savoury dessert by filling it with mortadella. We then kept the combination of mortadella and pistachio… and instead of putting pistachio inside, it is on the outside transformed into a cute hat. And speaking of disguises, what should be granulated sugar is actually parmesan cheese’.

In short… a cake that isn’t a cake, sugar that isn’t sugar and a cream that isn’t a cream… what could be more carnivalesque than that?

So all that remains is to ‘get our hands in the dough’.

The recipe (for about 12 doughnuts)

320 g manitoba flour
150 ml milk
50 ml water
40 g butter
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese 36 months
1.5 teaspoon dry baker’s yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
For the filling and decoration

400 g mortadella
200 g spreadable cheese
2 tablespoons cream (approx.)
grated Parmesan cheese
Sift the flour and set aside. Heat the water to approx. 37° C (it must absolutely not boil!) and dissolve the yeast and sugar in it, stir carefully. Also heat the milk (also at 37° C) and melt the butter in it.
Pour the yeast and water into the planetary mixer, turn the dough hook to speed 1 and mix for about one minute, then add the milk and butter and mix thoroughly. Then incorporate the eggs, Parmesan cheese and flour and work with the dough hook at speed 1 for 10 minutes. Then form a ball and store the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and keep warm until doubled in volume.
Take the dough and knead it gently, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1 cm, cut out disks with a pastry cutter of 8 cm diameter. Place the dough disks on a baking tray lined with baking paper and leave to rise covered and out of the draft for about an hour (should double in height).
Prepare the filling. In a blender or mixer, collect the coarsely chopped mortadella, cheese and cream and process until creamy but firm (depending on the consistency of the cheese, you will need to adjust the amount of cream slightly).
Cut out the baking paper under each dough disk so that they can be lifted without handling. Fry one or two dough balls at a time in plenty of seed oil at 170°C for about 30/40 seconds per side. Drain on absorbent paper.
Using the handle of a teaspoon, make a small hole in each doughnut, fill with the mortadella mousse, top with pistachio nuts and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately!
These doughnuts are perfect not only for a snack but also for an aperitif, since instead of the classic sweet version, the savoury one lends itself perfectly to creative afternoon snacks or happy hours. And if, as nutrition experts often recommend, you accompany this recipe with a fruit, such as apple or kiwi, you make our sin of gluttony more nutritionally balanced.