Chiacchiere di Carnevale are popular treats throughout Carnevale, or Mardi Gras, as referred to in the U.S. Traditionally, Lent is a time of penance for Christians, lasting for 40 days. Now, most Christians observe Lent by giving up certain luxuries that they enjoy. Italians celebrate Carnevale as the period before the Lenten fast, as a way to indulge. Carnevale celebrations typically include elaborate costumes, masks, entertainment, and excessive consumption of food and alcohol. Desserts are prepared and eaten for a final time. Chiachiere di Carnevale are sweet, fried treats that have several different names varying from region to region. You might often hear them referred to as Crostoli, Cenci, Nastri, Frappe, or Cioffe. Whatever you decide to call them, this is the recipe to make these crunchy delights.
This recipe makes one full tray of Chiacchiere.
- 1 lb of flour
- 2 oz of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1 package of Pane D’Angeli vanillina or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- 1/4 cup of sparkling water
- 3 eggs (2 yolks and 1 whole egg)
- 1 orange for zest and juice
- 1 lemon for zest
- 3 tablespoons of melted margarine
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Powdered sugar to top them off when finished
1. In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients together. Carefully mix the flour, sugar, salt, and Pane D’Angeli vanillina.
2. In another bowl, add the wet ingredients together. Mix in the eggs, wine, sparkling water, butter, lemon peel, orange peel, and squeeze the orange for the juice.
3. If you have a kitchen aid mixing machine with a dough hook, add the wet and dry ingredients together and turn the mixer onto the first speed. Let it mix for 3 minutes and raise the speed when needed. If the dough is still wet, add flour as needed.
4. If you don’t have a dough mixer, pour the mixed dry ingredients onto a large surface. Create a small mountain with a deep well in the center (kind of like a volcano). Add the wet ingredients to the center well and being mixing them to form a dough. If the mixture is still wet, add flour as needed. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth.
5. Once the dough has a nice smooth consistency, roll it into a ball and wrap it with plastic wrap. Let the dough ball rest in the fridge for thirty minutes.
6. After the dough has rested, take it out and cut the dough in half to let it quickly warm to room temperature as you begin to set up the pasta roller machine.
7. Cut the halved dough ball into smaller halves and flatten one of the pieces enough so that it can pass through the pasta roller. Spread flour lightly onto the flattened dough before passing it through the pasta roller.
8. Pass the dough through the machine two times on level 1, two times on level 4, and once on level 5.
9. Once the dough is rolled out thinly, begin shaping them into chiacchiere using a ravioli wheel. For reference, cut strips that are approximately 5.5 inches in length and 1 inch wide. If you like, you can pinch and twist the center of the chiacchiere strip to make it ribbon-shaped.
10. After all the pieces are cut, you can begin frying them in vegetable oil until golden brown. Chiacchiere doesn’t take long to fry since they are very thin. Once you’ve finished frying, put them aside and let the excess oil drip off.
11. When you’re ready to serve, sift powdered sugar on top and enjoy!