In Romagna, like in other parts of Italy, Carnival is a celebration of folklore with masks, fancy costumes and floats, as well as a celebration of traditional sweets, which are often deep fried.
Sfrappole (or Frappe)
These sweet fried pastries are flavored with lemon zest and a little aniseed liqueur (or with Brandy). They are usually dusted with icing sugar and decorated with red Alchermes liqueur.
Tagliatelle fritte di Carnevale
Don’t be fooled by the name; these tagliatelle are actually strings of fried pastry which are flavored with lemon or orange juice and dusted with icing sugar.
As with tagliatelle fritte, tortelli look like the homonymous pasta but are filled with sweet home-made jam. They are also fried and sprinkled with sugar and decorated with red Alchermes liqueur.
Castagnole di Carnevale
Castagnole can be found in other regions and are probably the most elaborate of all the Carnival sweets made in Romagna. Featuring copious amounts of dried fruit, they are also fried and have a distinct round shape.
Sfrappole (or Frappe)
Ingredients: 500g of flour, 3 egg yolks, 50g of butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar, grated lemon zest, half a glass of Brandy or aniseed liqueur, a pinch of salt, icing sugar.
Method: mix all the ingredients except for the icing sugar; add a little milk if the dough is too hard. Leave to rest for 30 minutes and roll the dough with a rolling pin. Cut into shapes of circa 4cm x 15-20cm and quickly deep-fry in oil. Soak the excess oil with kitchen paper towel and decorate with icing sugar and Alchermes liqueur.
Tagliatelle Fritte Di Carnevale
Ingredients: 200g of flour, 2 eggs, 4 tea spoons of caster sugar – 1 unwaxed orange, frying oil – icing sugar.
Method: mix the flour with the eggs and roll the dough as if it were a pasta dough. Sprinkle the sheet with castor sugar and with grated orange zest. Roll the pasta as if it were tagliatelle and slice (1cm circa) and do not unroll but fry straight away. Soak the excess oil with kitchen paper towel and decorate with icing sugar; eat cold.
Castagnole Di Carnevale
Ingredients: 500g of flour, 500ml of milk, 1 tea spoon of caster sugar – 30g of fresh beer yeast – 2 eggs – 130g of sultanas – 2 small glasses of grappa – 80g of pine kernels, grated skin of one lemon – icing sugar – frying oil.
Method: melt the yeast in half a glass of lukewarm milk with the sugar. Add the flour, the eggs and the rest of the milk. Mix well and cover with a towel for at least 4 hours. Soak the sultanas in grappa; drain them and sprinkle them with flour then add them to the mixture together with the pine kernels, a pinch of salt and the lemon zest. Leave to rest for a further 10 minutes. Roll in small balls with the help of a spoon and fry till golden. Soak the excess oil with kitchen paper towel and decorate with icing sugar.
(Updated to 13/12/2019)