Carnevale is celebrated all across the Veneto in the run up to Lent. It is very much about excess in costume, colour and food in anticipation of the reflective and frugal period to come.
Similarly to Shrove Tuesday in the UK, Carnevale traditionally provided an opportunity to indulge in heavier and more decadent foods before the fasting of Lent began. Frittelle or fritole are Venetian doughnuts found in pasticceria all over the region at this time. They are served in a number of different forms, including Fritelle Veneziane, which are unfilled and have pine nuts and raisins stirred into the dough; as well as several filled varieties. Fillings include cream, zabaione, as less well as less common fillings such as apple, chocolate or pistachio cream.
On our last trip to visit family in Italy I learnt how to make them with Stefano's mum.
For the frittelle
150g plain flour
50g granulated sugar
oil for frying - groundnut oil is best
icing sugar to decorate
For the Crèma Pasticcera filling
4 egg yolks
1/2 litre milk
2 peels of lemon