A pound (400 g) of colossal mild olives, packed in brine (if you buy them pitted, you won’t have to do it yourself)
Four ounces (100 g) fresh mild pork sausage
Four ounces (100 g) ground veal
1/2 cup meat broth (bullion is fine)
Two ounces (50 g) diced cured lard (buy this from a delicatessen or use pancetta or prosciutto fat)
Ten ounces (250 g) fine bread crumbs (this will likely be about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dry white wine
One cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmigiano (see note)
Two tablespoons flour
Two tablespoons unsalted butter
One tablespoon minced parsley
A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Oil for frying
How to make the Olive all’Ascolana:
To prepare olive all’Ascolana: finely dice the veal, crumble the sausage, and sauté them in the butter. When they have browned, sprinkle the wine over them, let it evaporate, stir in the diced lard, and continue sautéing gently for 5-10 minutes (you want the meat to brown but not burn). Stir in the broth and simmer for five minutes, then remove the meats to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pot.
Stir two heaping tablespoons of the bread crumbs into the drippings. Grind the meat mixture and combine it with the breadcrumbs you stirred into the drippings, then lightly beat one of the eggs and work it into the filling, too, with the parsley, grated cheese nutmeg. Check to season and let the filling rest for a half-hour.
Pit the olives, if not already pitted, and fill them. The easiest way to do this is to fill in a pastry bag or syringe of the kind used for frosting, with a relatively fine nozzle, and squirt the filling into the holes.
Lightly beat the remaining egg. Roll the filled olives in flour, then in the egg, and then in the bread crumbs. Fry them in abundant oil for 15-20 minutes, drain them well, and serve them.
Note: though De Agostini warns not to use too much cheese, they forgot to include cheese in the ingredient list. Another recipe for Olive all’Ascolana calls for 3 cups (150 g) for close to three times as much meat, so the quantity given here should be about right.
Regional recipe from Marches