Castagnole, one of the most popular Carnival deep-fried sweets

Castagnole, Carnival, deep-fried sweets, Carnevale, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions



It’s that time of the year again: Carnevale is almost here!
Carnevale means floats, costumes, confetti, big party everywhere you go in Italy and it’s a lot of fun, not only for kids! We also have many traditional recipes that we make to celebrate Carnival.
I want to give you my recipe for some sweets that are delicious and perfect for your Carnival party: “Castagnole”.
They’re very popular in Italy, many regions have this recipe as traditional Carnival sweet: Veneto, Lombardia, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Lazio, Umbria, Abruzzo.
It is a very old recipe: some versions of it were found in an eighteenth-century manuscript. Some places make Castagnole stuffed with custard or whipped cream. I learned this recipe from my nonna and I want to share it with you.
However, be careful: once you know how easy it is to make them, you get addicted! I cannot help making “Castagnole” every year! They’re deep fried bites of heaven!
• 600 gr flour
• 150 gr sugar
• 150 gr olive oil
• 4 eggs
• 1 small glass of anise-flavoured liqueur (optional)
• Grated peel of 1 lemon
• 8 gr baking powder
• Icing sugar 
• A pinch of salt 
• vegetable oil (to deep-fry)
Mix all ingredients together until you get a soft and smooth dough. Let it stand for a few minutes. Cut the dough into smaller pieces and roll them into strips; then using a knife, cut the strips into small pieces.
Shape each piece into a smooth, little ball. Deep-fry the balls in vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil). When they are golden, take them out with a skimming ladle and dry them. Give Castagnole a few minutes to cool down and then sprinkle with icing sugar. They are good for three/four days…but I doubt you will have any left!
Alessia Odoardi is an Italian travel and food specialist.

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