Carnival has come and almost gone, it’s definitely time to eat some chiacchiere!
As I told you last week, Carnival is in full swing here in Italy and we are eating loads of chiacchiere – as they can be found at this time of year only. Actually, today is Martedì Grasso, Mardi Gras, and it’s the last day of Carnival. Tomorrow is Mercoledì delle Ceneri, Ash’s Wednesday, Lent will begin and all the fun will be over.
Better hurry up then!
I have always loved this kind of sweets, ever since I was a very little kid. After all, who doesn’t love deep fried pastry? I remember my mother used to make them at this time of the year, have friends over and spend a few evenings just drinking wine and savoring these simple yet delicious sweets. We kids loved those evenings because they meant being allowed to stay up until late at night, playing all together and loading up on chiacchiere, until we eventually felt sick. It actually happened to me once, let me admit it.
Chiacchiere were always present at school during Carnival parties. Moms used to make them and we’d eat them on Mardi Gras, which was more of a party than a school day. We would go to school dressed in costumes, usually handmade by moms who were not exactly like the trendy crafters of today. I wish I had pictures of those parties, as I remember some very ugly and funny masks. Anyway, if I remember well, we basically didn’t give a damn about costumes. We were more interested in skipping hours of school, being allowed to eat sweets, and run around wildly in the schoolyard.
But let’s come to the most important topic: the chiacchiere recipe.
First of all, let me just tell you that we do not call them chiacchiere. Chiacchiere is the general Italian name given to this kind of sweets, but as in told you in my previous post about Carnival, they take a different name in every region – if not every province – of Italy. Where I live, we call them bugie, which in Italian means lies. They can be just flat pastries or filled with either marmalade or Nutella. Being not exactly a fan of Nutella, my favorites are those with marmalade inside. Yummy!
Let me give you my mother’s recipe for both of them!
350 grams flour
100 grams milk
20 grams butter (room temperature)
1/2 packet baking powder
salt, oil, powdered sugar
Start kneading. First mix the eggs with the sugar, then slowly add the flour, then baking powder, butter, and a pinch of salt. Then slowly add the milk and mix well, until all the ingredients are well blended and the dough is kneaded. Give the dough the shape of a ball and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Then roll the dough out until it is very thin (you can use the pasta machine – if you have one). Then you have to cut the dough into small pieces: they can either have the shape of a lozenge or of a rectangle – it depends on what you prefer. Then deep fry them until golden, let them dry and cool down. Once cool, dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Bugie ripiene alla marmellata (bugie filled with marmalade)
Prepare the dough as in the recipe above. Roll the dough out until is very thin and place teaspoonfuls of marmalade (they have to be more or less one inch apart) over half of the sheet. Then fold the other half of the sheet over, press down carefully to seal and then cut with a pastry wheel. Then you can either deep fry them or cook them in the oven at 180° until golden. Let them cool down and dust them with powdered sugar.