These very friable sweets are a typical preparation for Carnival and are called by different names depending on the region of origin: chat and lettuces in Lombardy, Cenci in Tuscany, frappe and sfrappole in Emilia, Crostoli in Trentino, Galani and gale in Veneto, lies in Piedmont, as well as rosettes, lasagne, pampuglie, etc. ..
They have an ancient tradition that probably goes back to that of frictilia, sweet fried in pork fat that in ancient Rome were prepared just during the Carnival period, these sweets were produced in large quantities as they had to last for all period of Lent.
Here is the recipe :
Ingredients for 4-5 people
300 gr of flour: 00 wheat flour
200 gr white sugar or 6 table spoons of sugar
Vin Santo ( or aged Rhum), half a eggshell
1 lt of seed oil to fry
Make a dough of pasta by mixing 300 gr of 00 tender wheat flour , 3 medium sized eggs, half a eggshell of Vin Santo or Rhum, sugar and a pinch of salt.
Make a “well” or a” volcano” with the flours and put the eggs in the middle with a pinch of salt, sugar, adding the half eggshell of Vin Santo or Rhum, and start mixing the eggs with a fork and incorporating the flours slowly. When the mixture is not liquid anymore you can use your hands to compact the dough. Knead it well and then stretch it with a rolling pin making it as thin as possible.
When the pasta is stretched to the thickness required take a sharp knife ( or a toothed pizza cutter) and make as many diamonds as possible. Make a little vertical cut in the centre of each diamond.
Heat the seed oil and when ready put not more than 4 pieces at a time into the frying pan.
Quickly turn them once and remove from the frying pan.
Put the cenci on absorbing paper; dust them with regular white sugar or vanilla sugar powder.