Lucio Romani’s Italian Cookies Recipe

Italian cookies recipe knotted cookies with leavesAFTER SELLING his popular Ristorante Roma in Carmel in 2020, restaurateur Lucio Romani, who hails from the seaside town of Ladispoli west of Rome, opened a gelateria on Main Street with wife, Christine Jourdan. When the pandemic hit, the couple converted the frozen sweets shop to a bakery and dinner takeout. Romani handled the pastas and pizza, and Jourdan focused on the baking, with many of the recipes from Romani’s region of Italy, such as his mother’s crispy wine cookies. Any wine (even red) can be used in this recipe, but Romani recommends a semi-sweet white such as Chablis. Romani’s mother would then dip hers in red wine, but you can dunk them in any spirit, as well as your morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Italian Cookies

Makes 20 cookies


  • 6 1/2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add wine, oil, sugar, salt, and baking powder, and mix until just incorporated. Gradually add flour, being careful not to overmix the dough.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently approximately 10 turns. Dough will be soft.
  4. Cut off a little ball of dough (approximately 1 ounce). Roll into a chubby rope about 5 inches long. Cross the ends of the rope into a loose knot, dip the knot in granulated sugar, and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  5. Bake cookies until lightly golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool briefly in pan on a cooling rack, then transfer cookies to rack and cool completely. Serve with wine, a favorite spirit, coffee, or tea. They’re also great with ice cream or gelato.