A crispy golden ball, a juicy filling… today our post is all about one of the dishes most loved from Le Marche culinary tradition: the ‘Olives Ascolana’.
These stuffed olives owe their name to the town of Ascoli Piceno. They are made of in brine green olives, stuffed inside with a tender mix of meat.
The history of ‘Olives Ascolane’ is long…Even in ancient times, pickled olives (green and black) were considered as a very nutritious meal. In fact, the Roman soldiers always carried some in their saddlebags for the toughest moments.
Rich people in Rome, however, were looking for something more exclusive and loved the taste of olives imported from Ascoli Piceno.
The quality of ‘Olives Ascolana’ was also appreciated by the Benedictines-Olivetan monks, while even the Pope Sixtus V had them sent to the Vatican.
Olives Ascolana has gained success and been loved in Italy and abroad, in the past as of today: in short, a dish worth of some attention!
The recipe of the “Olives Ascolane” is dated back to the 1800. It’s a starter made of fried green olives, stuffed with minced meat and spices. Here is our favourite recipe for you today…
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
a small celery stalk, chopped
60 green pickled olives
100 grams ground pork
100 grams ground beef
100 grams ground chicken
1 cup of white wine
3 eggs beaten (one for the stuffing, 2 for the breading)
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp of grated parimsan cheese
1 rind of half lemon
pinch of nutmeg
vegetable oil for frying
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the carrot and celery and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the meat and brown thoroughly on all sides. Add salt to taste. Pour the wine in and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.
In the mean time, remove the pits from the olives as described above.
Once the meat has cooled off, add it to a food processor and grind to a very fine paste. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, parsley, lemon rind, cloves, nutmeg and meat paste to a consistent, smooth stuffing.
Stuff every olive with a tiny ball of meat paste and put it back in its original shape.
For the breading, dust every olive in flour, then dunk it into the egg mixture and finish with a layer of breadcrumbs. For a thicker crust, you can repeat this process.
Add 5-7 centimeters of vegetable oil to a small frying pan and heat to 175-180 °C. Deep-fry the olives in small batches until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels and serve, preferably piping hot.