The word cenci literally means "rags and tatters".
1 3/4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
4 teaspoons sugar
grated rind of 1/2 lemons
1 1/2 tablespoons wine
lard or oil for deep-frying
confectioners (icing) sugar
Mixing bowl, rolling pin, deep frying.
Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add the sugar, eggs, salt, lemon rind and wine, and work to a fairly stiff but very pliable dough. If it is too stiff, add a little more wine. Knead well and leave in a cool place for 1 hour wrapped in a cloth.
Roll out rather thinly, and cut into rectangles about 3 by 4 1/2 inches. Make three lengthwise cuts in each rectangle. The effect should be of 4 thin strips joined at each end - these strips can then be intertwined to look like knots. Fry the strips or knots, two three at a time, in plenty of hot lard until puffed up and golden. Drain on paper towels and when cold sprinkle with sifted confectioners' (icing) sugar.
Cenci can be served alone or with a fruit salad, cold mousse or a similar type of dessert.