Cartellate Recipe Italian Christmas Pastry


Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

The Cartellate recipe with cooked wine, are delicious rosettes of thin dough, fried and then dipped in cooked wine obtained from cooking the wine or fig must. One of the Apulian Christmas sweets that reminds me of my childhood, together with the Apulian Landed almonds that arrived on time every December! A laborious dessert, but really delicious and particular.

Italian christmas pastry
Italian christmas pastry

History of Cartellate

The Cartellate recipe or Apulian Nevole, is a very ancient traditional sweet, the first testimonies see it depicted in a mural in Bari dating back to the 6th century BC. where small roses are depicted that recall the current Apulian Cartellate.

Like many desserts that come from antiquity, they were mainly used as votive offerings to the gods, but with the spread of Christianity they began to be prepared as an offering for the Madonna. The shape of the folders recalls a rose, but not only that, they are also combined with the aureole, the thorns crown and also the bands that wrapped the body of the newborn Jesus. Their name instead comes from the word paper, a “something” that can be crumpled.

What is the Vincotto for Cartellate

Vin Cotto or Vincotto is obtained by slow-cooking the must of white and red wine, until practically obtaining a sweet syrup. Usually produced with Apulian grapes, it is also widespread in Basilicata and Calabria. It’s a product dating back to Roman times, used as an ingredient to flavour other dishes such as meat for example, but it was also diluted with water to produce a sweet drink.

Preparation of the Apulian Cartellate Recipe

First, with the help of a planetary mixer (if you have one otherwise you can mix by hand), mix all the ingredients to create a nice homogeneous paste. Once ready, cover it with a bowl and in the meantime, you can prepare to roll it out. If you have a machine for making fresh pasta, use it because you will save a lot of time, considering that the Cartellate recipes are quite laborious, if you don’t have one, hire a family member to give you a hand, arm yourself with a rolling pin to start rolling the pastry sheet!

Whether you roll it out by machine or by hand, the sheet will have to be very thin, so divide the dough and start rolling the sheet until you get to size 8 of the machine, which corresponds to 0.8 mm, therefore 1 mm if you roll it by hand. The strip of pasta should measure 25 cm in length.

Obtained the strip, cut 2.5 cm wide strips with a knife or a pasta wheel. Take each individual strip and fold it in half and pinch the flaps every 3 cm. Roll the strip onto itself with the pinched side facing up, to obtain the rose, while rolling it up, pinch a few edges here and there, so that it doesn’t fall apart. Heat the cooked wine and immerse the Cartellate in the wine, if the wine is getting too hot and shrinking, turn off the heat and heat it again when necessary.

Once ready, place them on a large tray and if you want, you can decorate them with coloured sprinkles or icing sugar. Store them covered and indoors.

The Cartellate recipe, together with Almonds Landed and Mostaccioli are the three most typical Christmas desserts (at least for me) of the Apulian cuisine.

5 from 1 vote

Cartellate Recipe Italian Christmas Pastry

Delicious sweets of fried dough covered with cooked wine, typical of the Apulian Christmas.
Porzioni 100 pieces approx
Tempo di Preparazione 2 hours
Tempo di Cottura 2 minutes
Rest 30 minutes
Tempo totale 2 hours 32 minutes


  • Pasta Machine


  • 500 g Pastry Flour
  • 170 ml White Wine hot
  • 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 L Vincotto of wine must or figs
  • Sunflower Oil for frying


  • In the kitchen planetarium or by hand, work the flour with the wine, oil and salt until you get a homogeneous dough.
    500 g Pastry Flour, 170 ml White Wine, 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 pinch Salt
  • Let it rest covered by a bowl for 30 minutes, while preparing the necessary to pull the dough.
  • Divide the dough and roll out the dough with the pasta machine up to thickness n' 8 to obtain thin strips of dough 25 cm long.
  • Fold the strip in half along the longer side, match the sides and pinch each and pinch the side edges together every 3 cm approximately.
  • Roll the strip on itself so as to create a rose, and pinchsome edges between them so that it doesn't break the rose.
  • Heat the oil for frying in a frying pan, and fry them until golden brown. Drain and dry on paper towels.
    Sunflower Oil

Vincotto Sauce

  • Heat the vincotto over a low heat, once it comes to a boil, immerse the Cartellate one at a time in the wine, turning them 2-3 times and then remove them by placing them on a tray. If necessary, turn off the heat under the vincotto and immerse the sweets, when you feel that the sauce is thickening again, turn it on again over low heat.
    1 L Vincotto
  • Serve the folders once cooled, if you want you can cover them with sugar sprinkles or icing sugar.
  • Keep the Cartellate in a cake tin or well covered by a kitchen film.


Cartellate can also be covered with honey by carrying out the same procedure with honey.
Chef: Taira by R.J.
Calorie: 35kcal
Course: Sweets and Desserts
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas, Frying
Difficoltà: Medium


Serving: 18g | Calories: 35kcal (2%) | Carbohydrates: 11.2g (4%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 0.9g (1%) | Sugar: 6.4g (7%)

Le informazioni nutrizionali mostrate sono una stima fornita da un calcolatore nutrizionale online. Non deve essere considerato un sostituto del consiglio di un nutrizionista professionista.

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