Chiacchiere di Carnevale is an Italian sweet treat made of thin rectangles of dough deep-fried in olive oil or pork lard. They are slightly sweet and aromatic with an incredible crumbly texture.

Chiacchiere di Carnevale pastries piled on a wooden cutting board.

Here in Italy, these treats are a staple—you’ll spot them in every bakery, coffee shop, or supermarket, often packaged in small bundles to take home. They’re part of the Carnival treat lineup, joining other delightful sweets like castagnole.

Even though I could just grab these at the store, there’s something special about making them at home using the exact recipe my mother-in-law gave me ages ago.

They turn out so darn delicious like they just melt in your mouth. Once you start, it’s tough to stop eating them, so better make a big batch!

Close-up of Chiacchiere di Carnevale pastries.

Ingredients

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour or your favorite mix of gluten-free flour.
  • Lard: To make the traditional recipe you’ll need pork lard, or you can substitute with butter.
  • Sugar: Just a bit of sugar since those treats aren’t overly sweet.
  • Eggs: Use two medium eggs, mine weighed about 55g each.
  • Grappa: This is an Italian liquor that adds a subtle flavor and authenticity to the recipe. Is often substituted with Marsala liquor.
  • Vanilla: Make sure you use vanilla extract since vanilla essence is just artificial flavoring.
  • Baking powder: To add a little bit of fluffiness to the crispy treats.
  • Oil: To fry the dough strips, use olive oil, sunflower oil, or your favorite cooking oil.
  • Confectioner’s sugar: Also known as powdered sugar, this is an ingredient for dusting the crispy treats.
Ingredients for chiacchiere in a countertop with names overlay.

How To Make Chiacchiere Di Carnevale

Place the flour on a working surface, add baking powder, sugar, and then salt. Mix briefly to combine.

Make a well in the flour and crack the eggs, add vanilla extract and grappa. With a fork combine the ingredients in the middle.

The flour with a wall in the middle with combined ingredients.

Add the pork lard and using a spatula start mixing the ingredients just until slightly combined.

Now, with your hands, knead for about 15 minutes or until you achieve a smooth and elastic dough.

Make a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap, and leave it to rest for about 1 hour to allow the gluten to develop.

Lightly flour a working surface and roll the dough with a rolling pin to achieve a very thin sheet (about 3 mm/ 0,40″), just as you’d do for lasagna sheets.

I also find it helpful to use a pasta roller machine, so go for it if you want.

Rolling the dough.

Top Tip: The thinner the dough, the crispier those treats will be!

With a fluted ravioli wheel, cut the dough into a large rectangle about 18×7 inches (45x18cm). Then, cut the rectangle longwise in two parts, obtaining two strips of dough.

Cutting the dough.

Cut each strip into small rectangles. I made 16 pieces in total but you can cut them smaller or larger if you want.

Cutting the dough into chiacchiere.

Make two small cuts longwise in the middle of each piece, which is the typical shape for those treats in Rome.

Cutting the middle on each piece of dough.

Heat a good glug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the dough strips until crispy and golden on both sides.

Frying the chiacchiere pastries.

Place the fried chiacchiere on a lined paper plate to drain the excess oil.

Once you’re done, dust the crispy treats with confectioner’s sugar on both sides and serve warm.

Dusting with confectioner's sugar the chiacchiere in a plate.

Tips & Notes

  • This traditional Italian treat is usually fried in olive oil or pork lard when made at home. But nowadays, lots of pastry shops opt for different oils like peanut, sunflower seed, or corn for frying.
  • When frying the dough strips, do it in small batches. If you fry too many at once, the oil temperature drops, and they won’t turn out as golden and crispy as they should.
  • You can also use a stand mixer to make the dough, making this recipe a lot easier and quicker to make.
  • Those crispy Italian pastries are served mostly as snacks, but you can also serve them as a dessert drizzled with chocolate sauce or Nutella.
  • Don’t throw the dough scraps, fry them as well and use them for topping gelato!
  • Chiacchiere are also known by other names. In Rome, they’re called Frappe, and in other regions you can find them as Bugie, Cioffe, Sfrappole, Stracci, crostoli, or Crogetti, just to name a few.
  • The origin of Chiacchiere dates back to the time of Saturnalia (the pagan festival predecessor of Carnival) when the Romans used to prepare a simple dough with flour and water and cut it into thin rectangles that they used to fry in pork lard.
Italian fried pastries Chiacchiere, piled in a cutting board and dusted with powdered sugar.

How To Store

Chiacchiere lasts up to 4-5 days stored in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature. Place them in a dry and cold spot in your kitchen to keep them fresh.

Once fried, these Italian pastries can’t be frozen, but you can freeze the dough for up to 2 months. When ready to make, thaw the dough overnight in your fridge and make the sweet treats the next day!

Other Italian Sweet Recipes

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Video

Chiacchiere Recipe.

Chiacchiere (Italian fried pastries)

16 pastries
Chiacchiere are delicious Italian fried pastries made with sweet and aromatic dough cut into thin ribbons and fried until crispy. A popular and traditional recipe for carnival season!
prep 30 minutes
cook 10 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
total 1 hour 40 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 stand mixer optional
  • 1 rolling pin or pasta roller machine

Ingredients 

  • 2 cup All-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Lard (or butter)
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Grappa (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon Baking powder
  • Oil for frying (as needed)
  • Confectioner's sugar (for dusting)
  • 1 Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

Make the dough

  • Place the flour on a working surface and add the baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well and crack the eggs.
  • Add vanilla extract and then pour the grappa. With a fork, combine the ingredients in the middle.
  • Add the pork lard and using a spatula start mixing the ingredients just until combined.
  • Knead for about 15 minutes or until you achieve a smooth and elastic dough. NOTEYou can also make the dough in a stand mixer.*
  • Make a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap, and leave it to rest for 1 hour.

Roll & Cut

  • Lightly flour a working surface and roll the dough into a thin sheet (about 3 mm/ 0,40″).
  • Cut the dough with a fluted ravioli wheel into a large rectangle about 18×7″ (45x18cm).
  • Cut that rectangle longwise in two parts, obtaining two strips of dough.
  • Cut each strip into 8 rectangles, making 16 pastries in total from the dough. Make two small cuts longwise in the middle of each piece.

Fry

  • Heat a good amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the chiacchiere 3-4 at a time until crispy and golden.
  • Place them on a lined paper plate to drain the excess oil.
  • Transfer to a serving place, dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve.

Notes

  • The thinner the dough, the crispier the pastries will be. So, if you have it, use a pasta roller machine for this step.
  • Chiacchiere are typically fried with olive oil or pork lard when making them at home. However, many pastry shops now prefer to fry those with other types of oil, such as peanut, sunflower seed, corn, etc.
  • Always work in batches, frying a few pieces at a time, because too many together can lower the oil temperature.
  • Omit grappa if you don’t like it or don’t have it at home. Or you can also replace it with Marsala or orange liqueur. 
  • Don’t throw the scraps after cutting the pastries, fry them as well and eat them or use them to top ice cream!
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 pastry | Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I didn’t know it was this easy to make Chiacchiere! I always get them whenever I go to Carnivals! I can’t wait to try it, hopefully I do it right on my first try!