Fried pastries

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about ‘Carnevale’, in Italy a period from 12th Night until the beginning of Lent, are masquerades and confetti, but for those who love cooking Carnevale means desserts, call them what you want – ‘Frappe’ in Lazio, ‘Cenci’ in Tuscany or ‘chatter of the nuns’, in most of the other parts of Italy. But, whatever, the dessert itself does not change, it represents Carnevale, and is thought to date back to ancient Rome. A specialty that from North to South unifies Italy, it is cheap to make - just butter, flour, yeast, sugar and eggs, the basis of many desserts – and the method is simplicity itself. Anyone can have a go as long as you have a bit of time and the desire to celebrate Carnevale. Eat them with jam, honey, chocolate, or creams of any kind - or, of course, Nutella to add a touch of richness and indulgence to this wonderful dessert.


  • Flour 250 grams
  • egg 2 units
  • butter 30 grams
  • sugar 20 grams
  • Red wine 2 tablespoons of red wine
45 minutes Total time
10 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Beat eggs in a bowl with the sugar. Combine the flour, softened butter and wine, and knead the dough until you have eliminated any lumps. Once the dough is formed, sprinkle with flour, wrap it in a cloth and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then roll out the dough with a rolling pin to form a sheet. Cut it into strips of 2 or 3 fingers’ width with the help of a toothed wheel (to create a decorative effect, otherwise use a knife). You can leave the strips as they are or twist them into a particular shape of your choice. Fry them in a pan with enough hot oil so that they can float, and remove them when they are golden. Drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

It is advisable to sprinkle them with icing sugar when they are cold, otherwise you run the risk of dissolving the sugar. Eating them with honey is a must, but try creams, jams and chocolate too.
The origin of the fried pastries dates back to ancient Rome when they were fried in animal fat, commonly used for cooking at the time, but now we fry them in oil.

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