the appetizer:

Italian home cooking is made easy with A Tavola! by Gianni Scappin and Vincenzo Lauria, with recipes like Tigella Bread; Rissole (Stuffed Crispy "Ravioli" Snacks); and Polipo Affogato con Patate Gialle (Drowned Octopus with Yellow Potatoes).



(Stuffed Crispy "Ravioli" Snacks)

Serves 4



Italians are frugal by nature and necessity. But who could complain when little scraps of this and that end up making such a delicious snack? Serve rissole on their own as a snack or as an appetizer accompanied with a salad.

For The Dough

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 7 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed

For The Stuffing

  • 8 oz cooked meat (any type)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Fresh chopped herbs (oregano, thyme, marjoram, or other), as needed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 4 cups mild-flavored oil, or as needed for frying

1. Combine the flour, butter, and salt in a bowl. Add enough of the cold water to blend the mixture into a smooth dough. Mix the dough quickly to avoid overworking it. Gather the dough into a ball, cover, and let rest in the reftigerator at least 20 minutes before rolling it out. (This dough can be made ahead and stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

2. Cut the meat into strips or dice, removing any fat or gristle. Use a meat grinder or a food processor to grind the meat. (If you are using a food processor, use the pulse button to run the machine in short bursts. The meat should look finely ground, but not pasty.) Transfer the meat to a bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix in the egg yolks, the herbs, and the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.

3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured sutface to the same thickness as a silver dollar and cut it into 16 circles, about 3 inches in diameter. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with a little water, fold the dough in half over the filling, and press the edges together to seal.

4. Add enough oil to a heavy saucepan to fill it to a depth of about 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. Add about 5 or 6 rissole to the hot oil and fry them until they ate evenly browned, turning them to get an even color. Lift the rissole from the oil with a slotted spoon and let them drain on paper toweling. Continue frying the risssole in batches until they are all fried. Serve hot.

  • from:
    A Tavola!
    Recipes and Reflections on Traditional Italian Home Cooking
  • by Gianni Scappin and Vincenzo Lauria
  • Lebhar-Friedman 2009
  • $29.95; hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0867309288
  • ISBN: 978-0-86730-928-7
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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This page created October 2009

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