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Ceci ripieni

Mimina’s Christmas Pastries – Ceci Ripieni

by Sam Dunham

Mimina’s tasty pastries are a little different to those we eat up in the province of and called caggionetti.   They team chickpeas, almonds and dark chocolate and coat them in the town of Prezza’s famous mosto cotto, encasing them in a soft egg based fried pastry that easily fools you into having six with an espresso!

The vermouth used in the pastry adds contrast to the sweet middle, which even though you only add a couple of tablespoons of mosto cotto into comes through and helps cut down on the sugar required. I’ll never understand why mosto cotto isn’t more readily available outside Italy, it’s the closest you can get to having sweet summer in a syrup; no wonder it was adored by the Romans who used it in everything.  Try using Port as a substitute in this if you cannot find it locally.

I met Mimina, the recipe author, on a week’s Italian cooking holiday in Prezza, nicknamed the balcony of .  This small quaint town nuzzled between Pratola Peligna and Sulmona has been described by Vanity Fair as the place to stay in Abruzzo.  I do think it is one of its friendliest which is not an easy accolade to achieve.  She is the local butcher’s wife, and cousin of the chef that runs this Abruzzo food tour.   It’s worth visiting Prezza just to sample their home-made salami and guanciale which were some of the best I have tried in Abruzzo.  They’re easy to find, they sit at the top-right of the piazza, just look for the tumble of geraniums.  After sharing her secret Christmas stuffing recipe, she taught us all how to make amazing sausages, a simple porchetta recipe and the recipe for these ‘ceci ripeni’ which I was intrigued by, having only experienced the chestnut caggionetti pastries previously.

If you get to Prezza and like mosto cotto take a detour down the road to the nearby cherry town of Raiano and visit Bar Aterno for a mosto cotto ice-cream using Prezza’s Praesidium mosto cotto.  Its incredible ice-creams are all organic and it’s listed in Italy’s Top 100 artisan ice-cream makers.



Mimina’s Ceci Ripieni

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 30

Almonds, chickpeas, dark chocolate & mosto cotto tucked into a soft fried pastry courtesy of Mimina who runs the butcher shop in Prezza, balcony of Abruzzo
  • For the Dough
  • 250 g 00 Flour
  • 50 g Olive Oil
  • 50 g White Vermouth
  • 1.5 Eggs beaten
  • Zest from ½ Unwaxed Lemon

  • For the Filling
  • 120 g boiled Chickpeas
  • 80 g Blanched Almonds
  • 40 g Dark Chocolate
  • 75 g Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Mosto Cotto
  1. Blend the dough ingredients in a food processor and then knead for 10 minutes. Leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.
  2. In the food processor add all the filling ingredients and blend until a fine paste.
  3. Roll out the dough through a machine and cut into circles using a cookie cutter.
  4. Spread the dough with a small amount of the dough and close it with a fork ( half moon shape).
  5. Fry the ceci ripieni in boiling vegetable oil until golden
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Nancy Corsetti

My husband’s mother made these at Christmas. In her recipe, white wine is used in the dough and the chickpeas are not boiled. She also added honey and orange zest to the filling. My sister-in-law taught my daughter how to make “Fritti did Ceci” because my mother never made these, even though she was from Abruzzo.

Sandra Brawley

The ones I have eaten (and once made) had chestnuts in them.

Life in Abruzzo

Yes those I have eaten previously and in our village have been chestnut based… this is our neighbour Italia’s recipe, I like her addition of candied orange peel in the filling too https://www.lifeinabruzzo.com/caggionetti-calgionetti-caggiunitt-christmas-time/

Frank Simone

My grandmother made them but her twist in the recipe was using chopped dates in the filling. She used the mosta cotta that wasn’t used for vino cotta. She was true Abruzzese.

Life in Abruzzo

Dates, wow I’m going to give that a go next time I make them, another way to cut down on the sugar!

Italian Cooking Holiday

I’ll let Mimina know that you liked her recipe!