I spent part of my childhood in Rome, where they have the most amazing markets where you can buy fresh produce but also meets and cheeses and local products from the surrounding area. I remember loving going with my mum also because I would always get some kind of treat. One of them was this awesome little donuts shaped cookies that were made in the towns on the hills surrounding Rome, called Castelli Romani. I never found those again once I moved back to Pisa and always thought they were the best treats ever: just the right amount of sweet, crunchy and with an unmistakable perfume. Thanks to the internet I now found the recipe, and I found out that, as for most of the good Italian food, it is very simple. The region of the Castelli Romani is famous for its white Frascati wine, that, although it is not internationally acclaimed, it is very easy to drink and table friendly. This recipe was probably born to be made as part of the celebrations for the new wine ( usually in the fall there are many wine related "sagre" or festivals) but you can do them year round!
1 cup of sugar (plus extra for coating)
1 cup of olive oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of white wine
3-4 cups of flour
Turn on the oven at 350 degrees.
Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl then mix the flour slowly until you reach a consistency that can be easily molded without being too dry.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour some sugar on a plate.
With your hands scoop up a ball of dough and roll it to form a cylinder then join the extremities to make a doughnut.
Press both sides of the doughnut on the sugar so that it is evenly coated and then set on the parchment paper. The doughnuts can be pretty close together since they are not going to grow very much.
Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they are dark brown on the bottom.