Olive Ascolane (Stuffed Olives from Ascoli Piceno)

Olive ascolane are stuffed Olives originally created in Ascoli Piceno as a way to use leftovers of meats. Nowadays this appetizer is very popular in all Central Italy. In Abruzzo, most Trattorias and Pizzerias carry them on the menu. I have been craving for those since I came back from Italy a month ago.

The recipe calls for a local green olive variety, called the Tenera Ascolana, with a very soft meat. But green olives would work.

Olive ascolane

  • 20 olive ascolane (or very large green olives)
  • 1 pound pork, grounded
  • 1 pound lamb, grounded
  • 1 pound meat, grounded
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

Cut the olives open on one side and remove the stones.

Sauté the onion with two tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Add the meat and cook everything together on medium heat until the meat has browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Season it with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook everything together for 5 minutes more on low heat.

Place the meat mixture in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste. Form small balls of the mixture and carefully press inside the olives, then squeeze the olives back together so the cut edges meet.

Place the olives in a bowl with flour and toss well to make sure they are fully coated. Next, dip the olives in beaten egg, then coat in breadcrumbs and fry in oil at 350F until golden.

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