Carnival Talk

Carnival chats are the most prepared and known sweet in Italy at this time of year. Also called simply chiacchiere, they have many regional variations that are highlighted not only in the ingredients and preparation, but from the same name.

If in Rome and Lazio are often called frappe, in Tuscany is more in vogue the name of cenci, while in other regions are called crostoli or lies.

The best known are certainly the Neapolitan chatter and the Sicilian ones. Traditionally, chatter is prepared together with chestnuts.

Here is the recipe chiacchiere to enjoy all the goodness of the sweet par excellence of Carnival.

Ingredients chiacchiere of Carnival

  • 250 g flour 001 egg;
  • 25 g butter;
  • 50 g milk;
  • 20 g sugar grated rind of a lemon;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • 2 g yeast for desserts;
  • 1 glass of peanut grappa oil for frying icing sugar.

Recipe

On a work surface, form a fountain with the flour, then add the egg, the softened butter, the sugar, the pinch of salt, the grappa, the grated lemon rind and the yeast in the middle.

Start kneading by gradually adding the milk as well. Once the mixture has become homogeneous and not sticky, form a ball into it, cover it with a transparent film and put it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

After the resting time, take the dough and pull it with a rolling pin or with the pasta-pulling machine in a thin sheet of 3/4 mm.

Using a toothed wheel obtained from the sheet of medium size rectangles (12 x 8 cm) and in the center make two cuts equidistant from the side of the longest side of the rectangle, as you can see in the picture.

Bring the peanut oil to temperature in a high-sided aluminium pan. Fry the chatter, a few at a time, until completely browned on both sides.

Once cooked, drain them on absorbent paper to dry them from excess oil.

Sprinkle the chatter with icing sugar and eat hot.

Carnival chatter can also be baked in the oven. Just put them in a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake at 180 °C in a static oven until they have reached a nice uniform browning.

Pumpkin, speck and Amarone risotto

Pumpkin risotto with speck and Amarone is a particular variation of the classic pumpkin risotto enriched by the presence of Amarone della Valpolicella, one of the most famous Italian wines.

Ingredients

  • 200 g rice Vialone nano;
  • 250 g pumpkin skinned;
  • 1 glass of wine Amarone della Valpolicella;
  • 50 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano;
  • 4 slices of speck;
  • 1/2 onion;
  • 1l vegetable broth;
  • 2 tablespoons of oil evo;
  • 2 butternut and pepper to taste.

Procedure

Cut the pumpkin into cubes, place it on a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper and season with oil, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of pepper. Bake in a hot oven at 160 °C for 20/25 minutes until lightly browned on the surface. Once the pumpkin has dried out, blend it finely and set aside the mixture.

Chop the onion and let it dry with a knob of butter in a large steel pot. Add the rice, let it toast for a few minutes, then add the broth until the rice is covered. Be careful to top up the broth that will evaporate during cooking so that the rice is never uncovered.

In a small saucepan, simmer the Amarone wine until it has been reduced by half and let it cool. In the meantime, spread the slices of speck on a hot plate and cook to degrease and dry them. After about 5 minutes the speck will become crumbly and will be ready to be crumbled.

Two minutes before the rice is cooked, add the pumpkin puree kept warm and stir. When cooked, stir the risotto out of the heat adding the Parmesan cheese and a knob of butter. Let it rest for a few moments before serving.

Serve the risotto on the plates, sprinkle with the speck crumbs and a few teaspoons of Amarone reduction.