You Make a Living from What You Get - But You Make a Life from What You Give

venerdì 26 agosto 2011


For a quick yet surprisingly nutritious lunch or a neat pic-nic to eat lying on the bank of a trout stream with your feet dangling in the cool, clear water, try these 'Frittelle'.  The recipe given below is full of approximations because it was handed on to me by Mauro's mother, who makes the best there are, but its good to experiment and see what works best for you.  The principle ingredients are parsley, lettuce and basil, but you can choose other herbs.  If you do decide to add these think first about the balance of tastes and avoid anything which is too strong as there is a risk of overpowering other flavours (I know this to my cost...) and the Frittelle can become bitter.

Delicious eaten alone, with small balls of buffala mozzarella or - my favourite - tiny spoonfuls of creme fraiche and some salt.


Two large handfuls of Parsley - washed and dried with the hard stalks removed
One large handful of fresh basil
Six large leaves of green lettuce
Two large eggs (beaten beforehand if you prefer)
Three pudding spoonfuls of breadcrumbs - add these a little at a time watching the consistency of the mixture.
One or two spoonfuls of flour - again add one spoonful and then see if another is necessary later.
Two handfuls of grated parmesan cheese.
One large piece of garlic
One small piece of celery
One slice of cooked ham
Two spoonfuls of oil for frying


Put the parsley, basil, lettuce, garlic and celery into a magimix or equivalent mixer and blitz until everything is minute and satisfyingly green, or if keen cook attack with knife whilst everyone else lies by the pool.   Blitz the ham too but separately - I find this gives better results.

Put the mixture and ham into a large bowl and add in the two eggs.  These can be beaten beforehand or broken into the bowl and mixed in directly.  Next add in the parmesan cheese and one spoonful of breadcrumbs and one of flour, and a little seasoning.  The final mixture should NOT be stiff, and should remain quite sloppy although it should be firm enough to heap into a spoon and place into the frying pan without spreading out too much.

Once the mix is completed, heat some oil in a frying plan, this should be enough to coat the bottom of the pan but does not need to be particularly deep, and prepare a plate nearby with some kitchen paper on top.  With a wooden spoon or a normal pudding spoon scoop up some of the mixture and place it into the hot oil.  Fill the frying pan with your frittelle and let them sizzle away.  They will probably go slightly brown, but you should try not to let them get too dark.  This can of course occasionally happen if you are trying to check your emails and cook at the same time, but is best avoided.  Once they have started to change colour flip them over to cook on the other side.  Note:  the heat should be quite low to allow the frittelle to cook right through.  Nothing worse than a bite of undercooked, slightly raw eggy mixture.

Once ready take out of the pan, pop onto the plate and paper, and start the next batch.  You can eat these hot, warm or cold which of course means that as the cook you could test them first if feeling peckish, and then eat the rest with everyone else.

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