I galani

I galani

Modern Italian Food
Earl Carter

I galani are fried pastries found all over Italy under many different names. In Venice and in the Veneto the word galani derives from the sails of certain Venetian ships, so the name is steeped in maritime history. In other parts they are called chiacchiere, or gossips, because you eat them as you chat over a cup of coffee. In other parts of the country they are also known as lies, because a chat leads to gossip and gossip inevitably leads to lies.

I galani are a carnival-time treat – which is a time when you can play tricks and also tell lies – but in Australia, where this festivity does not exist, you can eat them at any time. They are excellent with zabaglione.


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon baking powder
375g plain flour
30g caster sugar
40g butter
1/2 orange, juiced
2 oranges, zested
a dash grappa or cointreau
2 eggs
oil, for deep-frying
plain flour, for dusting
caster sugar or icing sugar


  1. Mix the baking powder with the flour and sugar on the workbench. Rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the juice, zest, brandy and eggs. Slowly bring the flour into the centre, mixing to incorporate. Continue until a dough is formed. Knead well for at least 5 minutes, wrap in clingfilm and rest for an hour. If the kitchen is cool, do not refrigerate.
  2. Divide the dough into 3–4 pieces. They can be rolled by hand, but I find it easier to roll through a pasta machine. Working with a piece of dough at a time, press the dough in the flour and pass it through the machine at the widest setting. Dust well with flour again, fold in half and pass it through. Repeat with the rest of the dough. If the dough is awkward to handle, cut into manageable lengths. Ensure all the pieces are rolled through at the first thickness. Continue passing the dough through on each of the subsequent thicknesses until you get to the second last setting. By this stage you will have very long sheets of dough about 1.5 mm thickness. Cut in half to make them easier to handle.
  3. Cut the dough into 3–4 cm strips across the width.
  4. To cook, heat the oil in a deep pan to about 175°C. Use a scrap of dough to test the heat: the dough should turn golden in about 30 seconds. Cook the pastries, 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Once the pastry is golden and puffed up, turn it over to cook the other side. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle immediately with caster sugar or sifted icing sugar.
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