Crostoli – Frappe – Cenci Fritti
These delicious fritters are made for Carnevale, which falls before Lent.
The fritters made in the region Emilia, where Terry, my wife was born, are called “crostoli’, in Tuscany, where her
maternal parents were born, they are called “cenci fritti”- meaning fried rags. In Rome are called “frappe”,
“chiacchere”- chats in Lombardy, “bugie” lies in other parts of Italy.
My wife’s mother, la signora Danila, made these fritters every time she came to the United States to
She made them in large quantities and all the family enjoyed the tasty and delightful deep fried
Now Terry makes them as good as Signora Danila used to make them.
She remembers her mother saying with pride “Io son ben na’
brava dona -meaning I am very good at what I do”,
every time she made the crostoli or one of the many specialties she used to prepare for us, my family and our
3 ½ cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons Marsala wine
3 tablespoons salted butter (1 ounce)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
flour for dusting
Mix all ingredients and knead for 2-3 minutes. Do not overmix. Cover and rest dough for 20/30
Divide into 3 pieces and roll each piece of dough with a rolling pin or a pasta machine to 1/8 inch.
Cut in strips about 4 inches wide by 4 inches long and in each piece make two cuts in center about 1 ½ inch and 1
inch apart. Twist the dough to form an irregular shape, hence the name “cenci fritti”- meaning fried
Or cut in strips about 3/4 inch wide (or the size of pappardelle) by 3 to 4 inches long and twist each strip in the
form of a knot or in the form of a bow.
At highabout 375 degreees heat, deep fry in canola or corn oil; when golden (not brown) on both sides, transfer to
drain in a dish covered with paper towels.
Sprinkle with confectionary sugar.
Everybody likes the fritters because they are luscious and do not have a greasy taste!