San Martino e Vino Nuovo

November 11 is the feast day of San Martino, from Tours, France. He gave away his wealth to the poor. He is often depicted on his horse, giving his half his cape to a homeless man.

Venice celebrates this with a cookie.

It’s a simple sugar cookie recipe, they have cookie cutters shaped like this or you can make your own design and cut one out.

From Sicily, instead I chose to make a fried sweet, Sfinci, with a potato bread dough, rolled in cinnamon and sugar. This recipe is from the area around Castelvetrano- Menfi.

I had them the first time when I was down at the Planeta Winery in Menfi with one of my tours.

We had a class with the local mamma’s and we fried everything!

These were the original ones made at the lesson, the little donut shape is harder to make.

Here are mine this year. I simply shaped with two tiny spoons.

Sfince di Antonietta, Menfi


500 grams semola flour, “rimacinata”

500 grams boiled potato, riced

1/2 liter of hot milk

1 cake of fresh yeast

2 tbs of sugar

1 tbs of salt

Sugar and cinnamon with grated orange zest for dusting.


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk,
  2. Add the salt and sugar to the flour.
  3. Mix the riced potatoes and the flour together in a bowl, adding the hot milk with yeast.
  4. Mix really well, for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Cover and let rise.
  6. Heat oil for frying.
  7. Wet your hands and grab small amounts of dough and flatten, about the size of a walnut.
  8. When you get the dough near the hot oil, press your finger in the middle to create a donut and let drop into oil.
  9. To create small round fritters, use a teaspoon and drop into the oil.
  10. Remove when golden and toss in cinnamon sugar.

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