Olive all' Ascolana
Although this recipe gets its name from Ascoli Piceno, a town in the Marches rarely visited by Americans, it is just the sort of savory tidbit you could expect to find in a Venetian bacaro. We often make them for friends to nibble on with a glass of cold white wine before dinner. Beware—they are addictive.
20 (but best make more) very large
green pitted olives, packed in brine
10 ounces Italian sausage
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs, fresh or dried
2 cups corn oil
Pastry bag (or make your own by snipping the
corner off a medium ziplock plastic bag)
Soak the olives in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, strain them in a colander, then shake them free of any remaining water and pat dry with paper towels.
In the meantime, peel off the sausage skins and place the sausage in a food processor together with the egg yolk, Parmesan, and nutmeg. Blend until pastelike, then transfer the mixture into a large nozzled pastry bag. Gently squeeze the bag to fill each olive.
Beat 2 eggs and set them aside. Roll the olives first in white flour, then in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight if you wish).
Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it is hot but not smoking. Test the oil's temperature by dropping a crumb of bread into the pan—the oil is hot enough if the crumb sizzles upon contact with the oil. Fry 10 olives at a time, using a mesh or slotted skimmer to gently set them in the hot oil. When the crust turns golden, lift the olives out of the oil onto several layers of paper towels. Blot free of excess oil, then transfer the olives to a small bowl and serve immediately.
Living an Italian Culinary Life
Wherever You Call Home
By Lori De Mori, Jean-Louis De Mori
and Antonio Tommasi
Viking, September, 2000
Recipe reprinted by permission.
Visit our Italy page with more recipes.
This page created December 2000
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