These are typical fritters made for Carnevale. They are extremely simple and very popular all over Italy. Of course, each region has its own slight variations in the name and ingredients.
In most recipes, there is the possible addition of liquor (grappa, Sambuca) and butter, but I prefer my grandmother’s recipe.
Replacing the liquor with vinegar is a touch of pure genius, even if it seems quite odd. Adding liquors helps the dough not absorb the oil during the frying, but vinegar works even more efficiently, and the taste evaporates during the cooking. This is a recipe that, in spite of being a fried food, is much lighter than its official version.

Carnevale fritters frappe cenci
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings.


  • 1 cup (130 g.) pastry - 00 flour
  • 1 medium size egg
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml.) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 g.) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 gr.) white sugar
  • Icing sugar for sprinkling the fritters
  • peanut oil for frying


On a wooden pastry board pour the flour in a mound, make a hole at its center and pour the egg. Add the white sugar, vinegar and olive oil in it to the mound.
Starting with a fork, slowly add the flour to the liquid in the middle, gradually adding more flour all the time. Mix well.
When smooth, roll out by hand using a rolling pin, turning as you work.
Roll the dough into a sheet about 2 mm. thick. If using a pasta machine, continue to feed through rollers once at each setting, without folding, until you reach the second to narrowest setting.
Cut the dough in rectangles, with two additional cuts at the center, or diamonds, to about 4″ (10 cm) long.
Carefully place the pieces into the oil. Fry the rectangles or diamonds a few pieces at a time, turning carefully with two forks to gently lift each piece. The dough will bubble as it cooks.
When light brown, remove and let cool on paper towel. Sprinkle the icing sugar while still warm, and serve.

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About the Author

Growing up in Emilia Romagna, a region known for Parmesan, Parma ham, lasagna, and filled pasta, a great deal of my childhood was spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother.

Even at a very young age, I could see that for them cooking was a passionate expression of their love for their family. While I’m filled with many warm memories of watching them cook, what I remember most is circling the table and watching the stove, waiting for any opportunity I could to steal a taste.