Olive Ascolane are a cornerstone of the Marche tradition, stuffed and breaded olives for the perfect snack. They are ideal as part of a sophisticated aperitif, even if in the past they were actually considered the food of hospitality. Even today the Marchigiani evaluate the quality of taverns from the Olive Ascolane that are offered to guests upon arrival.
Recommended wine pairing: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Il Coroncino
The citrus and herbaceous character of Verdicchio is perfect for cleansing your palate with its slightly almond finish.
Ingredients - For the Filling:
- 500g/18oz whole olives
- 50g/2oz ground beef
- 50g/2oz ground pork
- 50g/2oz ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 40g/2oz Parmesan cheese, grated
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
- 1 egg
- ½ glass white wine
Ingredients - For the Breadcrumb Coating:
- 1 egg
- Oil for frying
- Prepare the filling first, add the onion, celery and carrot to a large pan and brown them with a little olive oil.
- Add the three types of ground meat to the pan and cook slowly over low heat.
- Once the meat is browned, add the white wine and season with salt and pepper. Once the wine has reduced, turn off the heat.
- Once the meat mixture has cooled slightly, add it to a blender and pulse until you have a smooth consistency.
- Add some grated nutmeg, the lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and the egg to a bowl, add the meat and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Prepare the olives by rinsing to remove any excess salt, before pitting them. Be careful not to split the olives as they need to stay whole to hold the filling.
- Form small balls the size of hazelnuts from the meat mixture, and place these inside each single olive before closing them back up.
- Once all the olives are filled, start to bread them. Roll them first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place on a sheet of parchment paper until they are all ready to fry.
- Heat frying oil in a saucepan deep enough to cover the stuffed olives, or use a deep-fryer. Add the olives a few at a time, being careful not to overfill the pan, for a few minutes until crisp.
- Drain on paper to ensure the olives are not greasy and serve while still hot.
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