Chiacchere di Carnevale – Fried Pastry for Carnival
One of the great traditions in Italy is Chiacchiere. They are prepared only in February during the season of Carnival. They have different names in various parts of the country, Chiacchiere is the name used in the area around Milan. In Tuscany they are Cenci, in Emilia Romagna (Bologna) they are Frappe, Bugie in Genoa and Crostoli in Venice. No matter what the name is these are a fantastic, once a year, treat. Fried pastry covered with powdered sugar, Chiacchiere are festive, light and sweet.
200 g (7 oz) white flour
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50 g (1 3/4 oz) sugar
1 cup of dry white wine
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar to cover
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl or on a work surface. Stir to blend. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, oil and wine. With a fork or your fingertips, gradually, incorporate the flour until you have a soft dough. Add additional flour if the dough is sticky.
Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 8-10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 1hour.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, beginning from the center, to a thickness of 0,3 cm (1/8in). Use a long pasta rolling pin for this. Using a pasta wheel, cut the dough into long strips (3-4 cm / 1 1/2 in wide) and then cut every strip into 10 cm (4 in) rectangles. Make some diagonal cuts in every strip.
Fry the dough strips. Scoop them out when they are nice and crisp and allow to drain on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar
- The white wine can be substituted with other liqueurs (strong brandy).
- I use 30 g (1 oz) butter in the dough instead of oil.