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Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries)

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5 from 3 reviews

Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries) – are slightly sweet and crispy Italian fried pastries made and eaten for carnival season in Italy. Scented with citrus and vanilla, these crunchy, airy, and light fritters are dusted with powdered sugar and are known to disappear from your serving platter in seconds!

  • Total Time: 1hr 30 min (includes resting time)
  • Yield: about 60 pieces 1x


  • 2 1/2 cups Italian 00 flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Zest of 1 orange or lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Italian liqueur such as Marsala, Tuaca, Strega, Grappa, or Vin Santo (you can also use rum, or brandy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 12 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting (icing sugar UK)
  • Sunflower oil for frying



  1. Place flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the butter and gently mix it into the flour using your hands. Make a well in the center of the flour for the liquids.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, zest, vanilla, and liqueur. Pour them into the well of the flour mixture and stir to combine using a fork or wooden spoon. The dough will be crumbly at first. 
  3. Once a rough dough forms, use your hands to knead it for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

Pasta Machine Rolling Dough

  1. After the dough rests, cut the dough into four even pieces (wrap what you aren’t using in plastic wrap). Sprinkle your work surface with flour (not too much). Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin enough to fit through the widest setting on your pasta machine.  Roll the dough through the widest setting.
  2. Continue rolling, reducing the roller width after each roll until you reach the second to last setting (about 7-8 with a pasta roller that starts at 0), reaching paper-thin thickness. If the dough gets too long- cut it in half and keep working with each piece until thin. Thin dough = crispy chiacchiere!
  3. Cover the dough sheet to prevent it from drying, and roll the remaining dough pieces.
  4. Using a knife, a fluted pastry cutter, or a ravioli roller, cut the dough into 2 inches-wide strips. Then cut a slit in the middle of each one making sure not to cut to the edges. Optional shape: fold the outer pieces of dough through the slit (inside out) on each side. This creates twists on the sides and a bigger hole in the middle.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel to keep them from drying.


  1. Heat the oil in a broad and deep heavy-bottom-based pan. Fill the pan with about 2-3 inches of oil.
    The oil temperature should be 180-190C (350-375F). Test a small piece of dough, if it is ready, there will be lots of bubbles surrounding it, and it will turn golden within a few seconds.
  2. Fry the chiacchiere in batches for a few seconds on each side until golden brown and bubbly. Use kitchen tongs or a mesh spoon to turn them. They cook fast, so don’t overcrowd the pan. Drain them on paper towels on a flat cookie sheet.

Serving the Chiarcchiere 

  1. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and serve!


Equipment for Making Chiacchiere

Top tips

  • Oil temperature. The oil should be between 350F-360F when you start frying. If the oil is not hot enough, the chiacchiere will absorb too much oil and feel and taste greasy. If the oil is too hot (burning/smoking), it’ll give an unpleasant burned oil flavor to the pastry.
  • Rolling the thin dough: use a pasta machine if you have one (it’s certainly worth getting one). Rolling the dough makes it thin enough to get those airy bubbles.
  • Careful not to burn the fried pastries– these Italian pastries fry fast (seconds!). Drop them in the hot oil and when they get puffy with bubbles, flip them over for a few seconds and remove them quickly from the oil.
  • Let rest on paper towels – As soon as they come out of the oil, place them on kitchen towels to stay nice and crisp.
  • Cover the dough between rolling – wrap the dough you aren’t using in cling film (saran wrap) to keep it soft and pliable.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian