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cauzuncillI know Natale (Christmas) is around the corner when we make cauzuncill’  (cow•zoon•cheel).  Cauzuncill’ is Orsarese for calzoncini, which means piccoli calzoni or ‘little pants’.

Cauzuncill’ are ‘a forma di mezzaluna’ (half moon shaped) turnovers traditionally filled with mashed ceci (chick peas), vino cotto, mandarin orange and lemon zest, grated chocolate, sugar and of course alcohol. We also made some with ground almonds instead of ceci.  Castagne (chestnuts) are sometimes mixed in with the ceci filling.

Cauzuncill'collage copy

Cauzuncill' Collage3 copyCauzuncill’ are fried and then served drizzled with vino cotto.  Don’t know what vino cotto is?  When making wine, some of the freshly pressed grape juice (mosto) is slowly cooked all day until it is reduced and caramelized.  It’s like a thick wine syrup that is used for desserts, muscitaglia on November 1st, and even drizzled on snow!

Cauzuncill' (cow-zoon-cheel) with almond and vino cotto filling, drizzled with vino cotto

Cauzuncill’ (cow-zoon-cheel) with almond and vino cotto filling, drizzled with vino cotto

Dolci di Natale similar to cauzuncill’ are made in Basilicata and Molise, but the name, fillings and even the pastry change depending on the region.  What kind of dolci di Natale does your family make?

 

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