Italian Stuffed Olives ‘Ascolane’ are traditional to the Marche region of Italy! This appetizer is made by stuffing large green olives with a tasty meat filling, coating them with breadcrumbs and then frying them to perfection.
Italian Stuffed Olives: Ingredients
Large Green Olives (Ascolana Tenera)
The traditional olives used for this Italian stuffed olives recipe are very large green olives of the Ascolana Tenera variety—specifically Oliva Ascolana del Piceno. These large green olives are brined, sometimes with a bit of finocchietto (wild fennel) added. Italian recipes for stuffing these olives dates back at least to the 1600’s.
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For the meat filling, the traditional recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- beef: 525 g
- pork: 180 g
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: 90 g; finely grated
- egg: one (60 g)
- olive oil (extra virgin): 50 g (4 tbsp)
- butter: 2 g (1/2 tsp)
- white wine: for deglazing the pan
- onion: 60 g
- carrot: 45 g
- celery: 45 g
- nutmeg: 2 g (about 1/2 of a whole nutmeg grated)
- black pepper: 2 g
- salt: to taste
For the breading and frying of the stuffed olives, the recipe calls for:
- fine bread crumbs: 600 g
- eggs: 3 (180 g); beaten
- white flour: 100 g
- olive oil: for frying
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How to Make Italian Stuffed Olives of Marche
Below we have translated the recipe for Olive Ascolane Ripiene filed with the Accademia Italiana della Cucina into English! When useful, we’ve tried to use our knowledge of Italian cooking to expand on any recipe steps that may be unclear.
Prepare the Ingredients
Prepare the olives by pitting them.
Cut the pork and beef into large pieces. Mince together the onion, carrot and celery.
Prepare a Soffritto
Cover the bottom of a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Bring the oil to medium heat, then add the minced celery, carrot and onion. Sauté the vegetables until the onions are translucent. This is called a soffritto in Italian cooking.
Add the pieces of meat and brown it in the soffritto. Then, add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan. To finish cooking the pieces of meat, add a bit of boiling water to the skillet. The pieces of meat are ready when the liquid is almost gone and the meat is tender.
Make the Filling
At this point, use a food grinder to grind the pieces of meat together. Combine the ground meat with the egg, finely ground Parmigiano cheese and the spices.
Fill the Stuffed Olives
Stuff the pitted olives with the meat filling.
Bread the Stuffed Olives
Pass each stuffed olive first in flour, then egg, then fine breadcrumbs.
Fry the Stuffed Olives
Fry the stuffed olives in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.
How to Serve Italian Stuffed Olives
This Italian Stuff Olives recipe can be served as a hot appetizer or as a second course in the ‘fritto misto all’ascaolana’ with lamb chops.
The recipe for Olive all’Ascolana is one of the most traditional dishes in the Marche region. Naturally, each family from Ascoli Piceno might make small variations to the recipe to please both young and old.
In total, the raw materials for this recipe weight just over 1 kg. However, of course the meat and the vegetables do lose some weight during the cooking process.
This English translation is copyright PIATTO LLC © 2022; All rights reserved.
Italian Stuffed Olives Recipe (Olive Ascolane)
- 1 Large Skillet
- 1 olive pitter or a knife to pit the olives
- 1 food grinder for grinding the meat; alternatively, purchase ground pork and beef and avoid this step
Olives and Meat Filling
- 11 oz large green olives pitted—see notes for specific variety
- 19 oz beef
- 6 oz pork
- 3 oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely grated
- 1 whole egg
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp butter
- white wine to deglaze the pan
- 2 oz onion
- 2 oz carrot
- 2 oz celery
- ½ whole nutmeg freshly ground
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 pinch fine salt or to taste
- 21 oz fine breadcrumbs unseasoned
- 3 whole eggs beaten
- 3.5 oz flour all-purpose
Prepare the Ingredients
- Pit the olives.
- Cut the pork and beef into large pieces.
- Mince together the onion, carrot and celery.
Make the Filling
- Cover the bottom of a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Bring the oil to medium heat, then add the minced celery, carrot and onion.
- Sauté the vegetables until the onions are translucent. This is called a soffritto in Italian cooking.
- Add the pieces of meat and brown it in the soffritto.
- Then, add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan. To finish cooking the pieces of meat, add a bit of boiling water to the skillet. The pieces of meat are ready when the liquid is almost gone and the meat is tender.
- Use a food grinder to grind the pieces of meat together.
- Combine the ground meat with the egg, finely ground Parmigiano cheese and the spices.
Stuff the Olives
- Stuff the pitted olives with the meat filling.
Bread the Olives
- Create three stations for breading: flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs.
- Coat the stuffed olives first with flour, then with egg and finally with breadcrumbs.
- Set the olives aside until it's time to fry them!
Fry the Olives
- Fry the olives in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. The meat filling is already cooked, so you need to simply fry the olives until the outsides are golden brown.