Vignanello Pamparito is made traditionally at Easter, but today it is eaten all year. It has always been prepared at home following ancient recipes handed down from grandmothers; in olden times it was typical of well-off families, only later was it eaten by everyone thanks to increasing wealth all round.
The origin of the name “pamparito” is unclear and could have been changed over time. It was already in use in the mid-19th century, when illiteracy was about 80% of the population, and it might come from the double term Pan Parito, where Pan means bread and Parito, in Latin, means “prepare to…”: perhaps bread to prepare at Easter.
More accredited etymological hypotheses maintain that it refers to a caring wife for her husband when he went off to work: Bread for the Husband (Pane…Marito) was shortened to Pan Marito, then pamparito.
It is profoundly tied to the gastronomic traditions of the township of Vignanello, in Tuscia, which has for some time been working to keep and recover this tradition.
The main ingredients are flour, warm water, salt, brewer’s yeast, extra virgin olive oil from Vignanello, and anice seeds steeped in a half glass of wine. This is mixed well to get a soft dough that is kneaded for a long time, giving it the shape of a doughnut. It is placed in an iron pan greased with oil and left to rise; when it is double in size, it is brushed with beaten egg and put in the oven, preferably a wood one, that had been pre-heated to 250°.
It is excellent warm, cut in thin slices, to eat with the cured meats, boiled eggs and cheeses in an Easter starter course.