This is my take on the Olive Ascolana. The recipe for the stuffing varies. Mine is inspired from whatever I had in the fridge :-) The only tricky part is pitting the olives by cutting them in a spiral, much like peeling an apple. (This alone warrants it to be in the Slow category. I won't lie. I went through 10 olives just to get one spiral. As you can see in the picture, I am still faaaarrrrr from mastering this art.) If not, use already pitted olives, cut them length-wise on one side and stuff in the filling!
For the stuffing:
30 Olives (Ascoli if possible, if not, any large fleshy kind will do)
1 cup ground pork (or any other kind of meat you like)
¼ cup of chopped prociutto ham
3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped basil
Chili powder, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper to season.
For the batter:
1 cup of bread crumbs
1-2 eggs beaten
Olive oil for frying
1. Pit the olives by cutting from the top in a spiral like peeling an apple. Set them aside.
2. Light fry the ground pork and ham. Do not cook them totally. Remove from pan and mix in the rest of the other ingredients. Let cool.
3. Form ovals with the mixture in step 2, and slowly wrap the olive spirals around them.
4. When done, dip each one in the beaten egg then coat it with the bread crumbs. Set aside.
5. Set up pan with olive oil on medium-high heat. Fry the olives until light golden, remove and let drain on a paper towel. Then deep fry them, again. I personally prefer to double-fry any fried dishes as it makes them crispier.
6. Sprinkle with ground chili pepper and serve with a wedge of lemon.
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