In Italy, the famous Carnevale season kicked off and will end February 9th, known as Martedì Grasso or Fat Tuesday, which is the last day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. The word Carnevale comes from the latin word carnem levare, which means to “eliminate meat”. During Carnevale, food is often consumed in grand quantities, before starting Lent and a period of fasting that lasts until Easter.

Tortellini_DolciThe typical Italian desserts that are eaten during Carnevale are tortellini dolci, also known as ravioli dolci, chiacchiere, frappe, castagnole, as well as a variety of others. These desserts are typically fried, but in my opinion, they are just as delicious when baked. Enjoy!

Carnevale Recipe: Tortellini Dolci
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tortellini dolci are a traditional Italian dessert that is eaten during Carnevale. They are typically fried, but in my opinion, they are just as delicious when baked. Enjoy!
Serves: 18 (depends on the size of the cookie cutter)
  • 2½ cups (300g) flour (I used pastry flour but you can use all purpose)
  • ½ tablespoons (50g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
  • Seeds from one vanilla bean
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup (50g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Jam or marmalade (I used blueberry)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
  1. By hand or with the help of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Add the extra virgin olive oil, butter and eggs and knead until the dough is homogenous, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°C (204°C).
  3. Flour a work space then roll out the dough to ⅛ inch. Using a pastry ring, round cookie cutter or a glass, cut out circles. Unite the remaining dough, flour the board and roll the dough out again following the same procedure until all of the dough is finished.
  4. Brush the circles lightly with water, and put a spoonful of jam or marmalade in the center. Close the circle into a half moon then use a fork to press on the borders to stick them together. Brush the tops lightly with a beaten egg or a little bit of milk.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the tortellini dolci on the sheet so they are not touching and bake for 10-14 minutes or until they are lightly golden.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes then, if desired, sprinkle with powered sugar.


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