Recipe: Ciambelline Al Vino (sweet wine biscuits) »

From I Heart Rome by Maria Pasquale

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<i>I Heart Rome</i> By Maria Pasquale

I Heart Rome By Maria Pasquale [©Smith Street Books ]

Ciambelline al vino (sweet wine biscuits)


I Heart Rome by Maria Pasquale uncovers the authentic city she's discovered since moving there from Australia, following an instrinsic need.

Modern day Romans shared their stories and recipes with Maria, and now you, in this book of beautiful photos and original mouth-watering recipes. People like the cheesemongers, the chefs and bakers make this city one of the world's food capitals and give locals a connection to the past in I Heart Rome.

This recipe is from her friend, Viviana Gori.

Ciambelline Al Vino (sweet wine biscuits)

Ingredients (makes 30):

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz / 3¿ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150 g (5½ oz) sugar, plus extra for coating
  • 125 ml (4 floz/ ½ cup) sunflower oil
  • 125 ml (4 floz/½ cup) red wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100 ml (3½ floz) Sambuca


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the sunflower oil, wine, cocoa and Sambuca into the centre of the well. Begin to mix carefully with a fork, moving the dry ingredients into the centre of the well.

Once mixed, turn the mixture onto a clean floured surface and use your hands to form it into a soft, smooth, slightly sticky dough.

Working on a clean but unfloured surface, so that the dough rolls into ‘snakes’ easily, divide the dough into smaller pieces, then roll each one into a sausage shape about 1 cm (½ inch) in diameter.

Cut into 15–20 cm (6–8 inch) lengths and shape into rings, pressing down slightly on the ends to form a doughnut shape.

Dip one side of each ring into a bowl of extra sugar, placing them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool, before dunking in sweet wine, milk or tea..

Drain on paper towel and eat piping hot.

Note: I asked my beautiful Roman-born friend Viviana for the recipe to these simple and delicious ring-shaped biscuits. Light, crunchy and rustic, this version includes cocoa for a sweet yet bitter hit.

The main ingredient, as the name suggests, is wine, and it is also customary to serve these biscuits with red wine for dipping.

Found all around Rome, they are especially common in the Lazio countryside, the Castelli Romani. Traditionally peasant or working-class food, they are cheap and easy to make, and will keepfor days in an airtight container.


This recipe reproduced with kind permission of the publisher. See links below for more information and recipes.

I Heart Rome  recipes & stories from the Eternal City by Maria Pasquale is published by Smith Street Books (Melb,Oct 2017; Hb; 264pp; RRP A$49.99) and is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Simon & Schuster.

It is available in good bookshops and can be purchased online via »


  • Italy - all (IT)

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April 04th, 2018
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