Tenera Ascolana, Fritti (the street food of Ascoli Picino, Italy)


Chef Bob’s Italian heritage is from Ascoli Picino on the Adriatic Sea side of Italy. The first time we visited we were able to meet up with his second cousins who still live on the family compound. His grandfather was a mason there and his family crest is pressed into every building he built there! So the Neroni name has lots of meaning in this beautiful town. The piazza reminds us of Florence and yet not so crowded. Our first taste of these wonderful olives, indigenous to the area, sent us on a quest to find them in the states. Without success in our search, we still are able to capture some of the magic using the biggest green olives available in the US. 


12 each olives, Tenera Ascolane, pitted.
NOTE: In US, find the largest available  green olives. Push out their pit and proceed with the recipe.
1 cup ground sausage, uncooked, (make or purchase)
1/2 cup flour, A.P.
4 whole eggs, cracked, whisked
1 cup fine bread crumbs, dried, Italian
2 cups olive oil for frying
As needed, sea salt
Dry olives with paper towel. Holding one olive at a time, stuff with ground sausage; repeat until they are all full. Now divide the remaining sausage among the stuffed olives; cover each stuffed olive with leftover sausage on outside. When all are covered, chill for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
Stage your breading area with a container of flour, one of eggs, and one of bread crumbs.
To bread:
a) Dust chilled olives, one at a time, with flour first, then, b)dipped into eggs, and finally c) rolled  in and cover the olive with the bread crumbs. Place each onto parchment lined pan. Chill until ready to fry.

Meantime, preheat olive oil to 350ºF in a Dutch oven or fryer. Fry olives a few at a time for about 2-3 minutes each, until golden brown and center reaches 165ºF. Place on paper towel. Serve immediately. Be careful, they are hot and addictive! Don’t  place them all into the pan, as the temperature will drop too much. Do 3 or 4 at a time only.


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