Matt Tebbutt makes an Italian Christmas treat of sweet, deep-fried and alcohol-spiked pasta bows
By Matt Tebbutt
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tsp light olive oil
  • 2 tsp Italian herbal liqueur, or Marsala wine
  • 2-3 tbsp plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • clear honey, to serve


1. Beat the egg and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then beat in the olive oil and liqueur until well combined. Gradually add enough flour to make a dough just dry enough to handle (you may not need all of the flour).

2. Roll out small amounts of the dough out in a pasta machine to create thin strips, dusting with plenty of flour as you go, and working down from the thickest to the thinnest setting. Alternatively, roll out with a rolling pin on a floured work surface.

3. Using a pastry cutter, cut long ribbons about 15cm/6in long and 2-3cm/1in wide. Fold each strip into a figure-of-eight, pressing the ends together to make a bow.

4. Half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with sunflower oil and heat until a small piece of pastry dropped in sizzles and turns golden in 30 seconds (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended). Form the creustella seconds before you fry them, as they can lose their shape if made in advance. Drop carefully into the oil and fry for about a minute, or until light golden-brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

5. Set aside to cool on a large flat dish and sprinkle with caster sugar or drizzle with honey to serve.

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