During our early years at The Walnut Tree we used to celebrate carnivale, the days leading up to Lent. All our staff wore Italian regional costumes and we cooked regional Italian dishes. The dining room, bistro and bar were festooned with brightly coloured paper garlands and one of the local Italian farmers played his accordian.
500g/1lb2ozplain white flour
4eggs whisked with 4tablespoons of sugar
4tablespoonsvirgin olive oil
½ measure rum
½ measure anisette
adrop or two of vanilla essence
finely grated rind of 1lemon
Add the eggs and sugar to the flour. Add the virgin olive oil, milk, rum, anisette and vanilla essence. Add the lemon rind. Make a pastry dough and roll out 2–3mm thick. Cut into ribbon strips 2cm/1in wide and 20cm/8in long and tie the ribbons into loose knots. Fry the knots in light olive oil until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and arrange on serving plates. Dust with icing sugar.