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A staple at street fairs, they're also remarkably easy to make at home.

Jill Paradiso is a classically trained chef that blogs about her adventures in the kitchen at This is her first in a series of Italian-American recipes for Food Republic.

Because my father’s family is from Naples, come September we always went to the Feast of San Gennaro (Patron Saint of….Naples!) in NYC’s Little Italy. For me, the highlight of San Gennaro (or any Italian-American street fair) was eating fried dough balls called zeppole. They were served in brown paper bags or parchment-paper cones and dusted with powdered sugar. Sometimes they had raisins in them, which provided bits of unexpected sweetness. Some of my most vivid childhood memories involve the balancing act of navigating through throngs of people on Elizabeth Street while trying to jam baseball-sized balls of fried dough into my mouth without getting completely covered in powdered sugar.

As it turns out, zeppole are really easy to make at home and require almost no time at all — about 15 minutes. I’ve adapted the recipe for the home cook and adjusted the size to make them easier to fry and easier to eat — about two bites each, or the size of an egg.