Valeria serves up her fregolotta recipe, a speciality of Veneto. This unusual sweet snack is perfect for after-dinner grazing and is often served with a cup of coffee and a glass of grappa or dessert wine.

First published in 2018
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Fregolotta – from “fregole”, the Venetian word for crumbs – is a crumbly affair that sits halfway between a giant cookie and a shortcake. Traditionally from the area around the city of Treviso, its origin can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, and specifically to the town of Salvarosa di Castelfranco Veneto. There, an ingenious baker named Angelo Zizzola created this friable cake using flour, sugar, butter and cream. He called it fregolotta because of the many crumbs it would make once torn into pieces, though the cake is also known as rosegota, from the Venetian word “rosegar”, which means to gnaw on something.

The original, basic recipe has seen quite a few variations and additions, including eggs, butter and almonds. Personally, I tend to stick to the classic and to just add a handful of almonds as a garnish at the end. This is the version I have shared below.

Fregolotta is normally served in rough chunks for people to nibble at at the end of the meal, usually with coffee and whatever comes before or with it – grappa, sweet wine and the like.




  • unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
  • 500g of plain flour, sifted
  • 150g of granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of fine sea salt
  • 250ml of double cream, plus more as needed
  • 60g of whole almonds


  • 26cm loose-bottomed tart tin


Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Grease a 26cm tart tin with a generous amount of butter
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pour the cream in a separate bowl. Dip your fingers in the cream and rub some of the dry mixture between your hands until you get some sticky crumbs of dough. Drop the crumbs into the greased tart pan. Carry on this way until you’ve finished all the flour and sugar mixture – you might need more cream depending on the type of flour you’re using
Gently flatten the crumbs so as to form a layer that covers the entire surface of the tart pan. Top with almonds and press them into the dough to make them stick
Bake the fregolotta for 40–45 minutes, or until deeply golden. Allow to cool completely before serving. Serve in chunks

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Valeria Necchio is an Italian food writer and photographer with roots in the Venetian countryside.

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