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Recipe: The Christmas legend of the mostaccioli in the villages of Molise

Recipe: The Christmas legend of the mostaccioli in the villages of Molise
Discover Agnone

According to the legend, the mostaccioli were given centuries ago to the Molisan peasants by a mysterious monk, who appeared suddenly and then disappeared into thin air. Before losing track, however, the monk revealed to a curious grower the ingredients of these desserts assuring him that, preparing them, he would find an appropriate name. The farmer returned home and asked his wife to make the biscuits following the recipe the monk had given him, adding the must. And here came the idea of the name, "mostacciolo", from the Latin "mostacea", or must. Typical Christmas sweets of the Molise villages, the mostaccioli are nowadays prepared on the evening of Christmas Eve. Also in the open air and in front of numerous bonfires lit for the occasion in the squares of the villages of the region.


  • 1 kilogram of flour
  • 600 grams of honey (alternatively 300 grams of honey and 300 grams of sugar)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 500 grams of ground almonds (alternatively
  • 300 grams of almonds and 200 grams of hazelnuts)
  • 100 grams of bitter cocoa
  • a glass of seed oil
  • a cup of coffee
  • a glass of cooked must (alternatively you can use Marsala)
  • grated peel of a lemon and orange
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • clove powder


Heat the honey in a bain-marie, adding the almonds and the minced hazelnuts, the cinnamon, the cloves, the lemon and orange peel. At this point, mix the flour together with all the other ingredients in a large enough container, gradually pouring the cooked must until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Roll out the dough, leaving a thickness of about one centimeter and cut into diamonds, then place on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and bake for twenty minutes at 170 degrees, in an oven already hot. To prepare the glaze, however, it takes the dark chocolate and half a glass of oil to be joined in a saucepan by heating them in a bain-marie, until you get a smooth chocolate cream without lumps. At this point, after cooling them, dip the mostaccioli in chocolate - one at a time - or pour the melted chocolate directly over the biscuits. Allow to cool completely and here are the mostaccioli ready to be tasted.

 Main photo:

...Good appetite