Vrasciole, or fried meatballs, are serious business in Crotone, and biting into a very hot one while still half sleepy is a recurring Sunday morning ritual.
Nothing prohibits enjoying them at the table as an appetizer, as is also often the case in local restaurants, or as a main course, but the morning ritual is characteristic of this area and well describes the boundless love for this dish.
Vrasciole: the recipe
But what makes the recipe for these fried meatballs special?
Crotonese vrasciole change from the classic meatballs already from the shape.
Compared to the traditional round shape, vrasciole have an elongated appearance, a feature that allows them to have a greater crispy crust.
The dough is typical of meatballs, but the ingredients speak of Calabria: veal is mixed with the pork prized in the region.
- 1/2 Cup Minced Veal
- 1/2 Cup Minced Pork
- 3 Cups Stale Bread
- 2/3 Cup Pecorino Cheese
- 1 Egg
- Parsley to taste
- 1 Clove Garlic
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Oil for Frying
- Soak a piece of stale bread and let it soften
- Meanwhile, separately grate the pecorino cheese and mince the garlic and parsley
- In a bowl combine the veal and pork, egg, Crotonese pecorino, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper
- Then take the stale bread, remove the crusts and squeeze out the crumbs before adding them to the other ingredients
- Knead everything together with your hands until you get a smooth dough
- Take a large dollop of dough and form the meatballs into a cylindrical shape
- Continue in this way until you run out of ingredients
- Heat a frying pan with about an inch of oil and, when hot, plunge the meatballs into it
- Cook over medium-high heat until the vrasciole have taken on a nice brown color on all sides
- Serve immediately