Among the traditional Italian recipes, we should not forget Frappe, the Carnevale sweet fried pastries that are present in every house in the days prior to Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras.
The term Carnevale, or Carnival, comes from Latin carnem levare, literally “taking meat away” and since the Middle Ages it has been used to indicate the beginning of Lent, the 40 days period of fasting preceding Easter.
Carnevale is celebrated throughout Europe with huge festivals, parades, music and parties. In Italy, the most popular Carnival events take place in Venice for about 2 weeks whit colorful masquerades and balls in many historical palazzi on the Grand Canal, as well as street costume parties and revelries in the main piazzas of the city.
For these traditional Carnevale sweets, the same recipe as cannoli is used for the dough, which is then cut into ribbons and tied in knots before frying.
Ingredients and Instructions:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus one extra teaspoon for dusting
- 2 tablespoon of melted butter
- 2 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine (dry Vermouth is best)
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 pinch of salt
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Mix together all the dry ingredients then add the melted butter.
- Add gradually the wine and the water, working the mix until you have smooth and compact dough.
- Cover with a cloth and let rest at room temperature for about one hour.
- With the extra flour, lightly flour the board and using a pin-roll flatten the dough until about 1/8 of an inch thick (3 mm).
- In a deep pan, heat the vegetable oil. If you use a thermometer, it should indicate 350 F (175 C) when ready. Or just drop a little piece of dough in the pan and if it frizzles and bubbles, the oil it’s ready.
- Cut it into strips about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and 6 inches (15 cm) long. Take each strip and carefully fold it to make a loose knot in the center.
- Drop few Frappe at a time and fry them; when they just start becoming golden brown on one side, turn them and fry for just a little longer.
- When the Frappe are golden on both sides, remove from pan and transfer over paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Finally place the Frappe on a large plate and sprinkle with a generous amount of powdered sugar.
Buon Appetito e Buon Carnevale!