Recipe: Chiacchiere (Venetian fried pastries)
Chiacchiere are just one of the many delicious sweet treats you can enjoy while on your holidays in Abruzzo, or anywhere in Italy, and are also incredibly simple to make at home with basic ingredients. They consist of a sweet pastry, which is fried until it becomes crispy, and is then sprinkled with icing sugar. They have many different names across the various regions of Italy, including Crostoli, Cioffe, Galani and Frappe, so depending on where you head to in Italy, they may go by a different name.
Though today it is associated with the Italian Carnevale, chiacchiere can be traced back to ancient Rome. During the same months in which Carnevale is celebrated today, the people of Rome would make frictilia, sweet pastry strips deep fried in pork fat, in order to make them last for the entire Lent period. Today, they are eaten at all times of the year. Below is an incredibly easy recipe, so you can have a go yourself!
Ingredients (serves 6)
• 7oz of flour
• 1.7oz of sugar
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 whole egg and 1 yolk
• ½ a glass of white wine
• Icing sugar to dust
• A pinch of salt
Pour the flour out onto a board, and create a well in the centre of the pile. Place the sugar, eggs, olive oil, white wine and a pinch of salt all together inside the well, before kneading them all together until they are well-blended. The dough should then be covered and left to stand for half an hour.
Once it has been left to stand, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until a thin pastry is made. With a pastry wheel, cut the pastry into strips of four inches long and one inch wide. Make a ½ inch cut lengthways in the middle of the strip, and then thread one end of the pastry almost all the way through the hole.
Pour plenty of oil into a frying pan and, once hot, dip the pastry strips into the oil to fry and brown them. Once they are browned, drain them and pat them dry with kitchen towel, before sprinkling with icing sugar to finish, and enjoy!