Dessert Pizzarelle

Micaela Pavoncello

40 minutes

10-15 servings

Chocolate and matzo fritters on blue and white plate next to plate of fruit

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Roman Jewish tour guide Micaela Pavoncello serves these sweet matzo fritters drizzled with honey at her home to cap off Seder. She likes to add red raisins to the mixture, but if you can’t find them, yellow raisins are a fine substitute.

Try her Passover recipes for tender beef in tomato sauce, braised Roman artichokes, roasted curly endive, and creamy rice. And read about her family on our partner the Jewish Food Society’s archive.


¼ cup olive oil

5 unsalted matzo sheets

5 eggs

¾ cup granulated sugar

⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ¼ cups red raisins

1 cup pine nuts

Zest of ½ orange

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Place the matzo sheets in a large bowl and completely submerge them with room temperature water. Soak for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and use your hands to break the matzo sheets into very small pieces. Use your hands to mix and mash up the matzo almost to a thick paste-like consistency. 
  2. Put the mashed matzos into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, cocoa powder, sugar and salt and mix with a wooden spoon or with your hands to combine. Add the raisins, pine nuts and grated orange zest and continue mixing until everything is combined well and set aside.
  3. Add enough vegetable oil into a medium pot to create a 2 inch layer of oil. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat until sizzling.
  4. Take a teaspoon of the pizzarelle mixture and use another spoon to scoop the mixture off of the tablespoon and directly into the oil, creating a cannelle or oval shaped fritter. Continue shaping and placing enough pieces of the mixture into the oil. Fry the pizzarelle until they are crispy and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pizzarelle from the oil and directly onto a paper towel lined plate. Continue frying the rest of the pizzarelle in batches.
  5. Serve the pizzarelle warm with a drizzle of warm honey.