Every holiday in Italy has traditional dishes that accompany it. Part of the joy of celebrating each holiday throughout the year lies in rediscovering its food. “Le Chiacchiere” are Puglia's version of a carnival season sweet found from the top to the toe of the Italian boot.
Every region has its own variation on this delicious sugar-coated temptation and calls it by a different name. So, you may be offered bugie, lasagne, pampuglie, cioffe, crostoli, galàni, intrigoni, rosoni, sfrappole, frappe, or sprelle, but if they are crispy slices of dough, deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar...then you are eating chiacchiere!
The same range of variety also goes for the shapes these tasty treats are cut into after the dough is rolled out. Some are cut into square, diamond or long and narrow rectangular shapes. Others are tied into a knot or twisted. A pastry wheel is usually used to cut out the pieces, giving them their characteristic zigzag edges.
Sound good? Even better...they are super-simple to prepare. Follow our 7 easy steps and in no time you'll be ready to throw a carnival feast of your own!
400 grams flour
50 grams butter (softened)
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup Marsala wine
1 pinch salt
olive oil (for frying)
1. Sift the flour and add the softened butter, eggs, wine and salt.
2. Blend well until the dough is smooth and compact.
3. Wrap in a soft cloth (a clean, dry dish towel will do fine) and set aside to rise for about 15 minutes.
4. Roll the dough out to a thin layer, then use a pastry wheel to cut the dough into the shapes you desire.
5. Fry the pieces of dough in plentiful hot oil.
6. When golden, lift the chiacchiere out of the oil with a slotted spoon and lay them on blotting paper to absorb the excess oil.
7. Finally arrange them on a serving dish and sprinkle with powered sugar.
If you prefer a lighter version of this Italian classic, you can bake your chiacchiere in the oven. Or for a vegan sweet, substitute vegetable margarine for the butter.
What makes this timeless sweet truly heavenly is their light and crisp texture which will have you coming back for more and more. Try them dipped in honey or melted chocolate with a glass of chilled sweet wine like “Moscato di Trani” for a 100% Puglian taste treat.