I prepared this recipe for the first Christmas in our new house. Until then, I’ve alway associated olive ascolane with my childhood holidays in San Benedetto, or with the rich buffet of wedding parties.
In the kitchen I’ve never taken a step back, maybe to balance my not-so-fearless nature. So I decided to try making myself these little jewels of goodness. And they came out amazing, and now friends and family ask for them for special occasions.
To be honest, the procedure is not complicated at all, but I admit it’s quite long and I usually prepare these olives just for special people.
People from Ascoli will complain, as the recipe doesn’t respect completely the tradition of Oliva ascolana DOP, but they are insanely nice.
Perfect for a summer aperitivo, together with a chilled beer or a nice Spumante or Champagne.
To discover more about olive ascolane, read my post about Maccheroncini di Campofilone IGP and the Olive Ascolane DOP.
STUFFED FRIED OLIVES – OLIVE ASCOLANE
for about 40 olives, ideally the variety Tenera Ascolana (me, profane, sometimes I use olives already pitted)
for the stuffing:
100 g minced pork meat (from a lean cut)
150 g minced beef
50 g Parmesan (medium aged)
a piece of celery, a carrot, half an onion
evoo, salt, pepper, nutmeg,
white wine, bay leef
for the crust:
If you start with whole olives, pit them using a small knife, as tradition wants. Please don’t use a pitting tool, since it tends to break and ruin the olive flesh.
For the stuffing, roughly cut the vegetables (celery, carrot and onion) and sauté them for five minutes with some evoo, and add, if necessary, a spoon of water. When the veggies are nice and sautéed, add the two types of meat and let it cook for a couple of minutes at medium-high heat. Pour in the wine, and as soon as the alcohol has evaporated, add the bay leaf and reduce the heat. Cook for about twenty minutes and add just a small pinch of salt, since we will add parmesan.
When the meat is lukewarm, put it in the mixer with the parmesan and some freshly grated nutmeg and black pepper. Mix it until nice and smooth. Taste it and eventually add some extra salt. In the end, add the egg.
Stuff the olives with a teaspoon of stuffing, trying to recreate the shape of a big olive. As soon as they are all filled, prepare three bowls in line: one for the flour, one for the beaten eggs and the last for the breadcrumbs. Roll the stuffed olives into the flour, and remove the extra flour well; then roll them into the beaten eggs, paying attention that the egg cover the whole surface of the olives. Then roll them into the breadcrumbs, that have to cover the olive utterly. When the olives are ready, put them in the fridge for one hour to rest.
Heat over medium heat a frying pan with peanut oil, till it reaches 180°. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can check the temperature with a small piece of bread, that should sizzle at once.
Fry the stuffed olives in small batches, so that you avoid the risk to lower the oil temperature. Remove and drain well after some minutes of frying, when the olives are nice and gold. Serve immediately and… Enjoy!
This post is also available in: Italian