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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Italian Peasant Cuisine - Cheese Balls

My parents were both born and raised in Italy. They come from the Abruzzo region. Abruzzo is approximately 2 1/2 hours northeast of Rome. My father comes from the outskirts of Pescara on the shoreline of the Adriatic Sea and my mother is from the outskirts of the city Chieti. Her little town is located at the foot of the Gran Sasso mountains. This recipe that I am featuring today is a classic poor man's cuisine dish. It is called pallotte cacio e uova. Which translates to egg and cheese balls. The original recipe calls for sheeps milk cheese. I've improvised by mixing parmegiano reggiano cheese to lessen the sharpness. By all means, if you enjoy the sharpness of pecorino cheese; go for it! The dough consists of stale bread, eggs and cheese. Very easy to make and tasty!

Pallotte Cacio e Uova a traditional poor man's dish from the Abruzzo region

Pallotte Cacio e Uova


100 grams of stale bread
2 cups grated pecorino cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup of milk
4 eggs
1 tbsp. minced parsley
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

400gr ripe tomatoes or sauce from the bottle
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 onion
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the Pallotte

Soak the stale bread in the milk until completely softened. Squeeze out the excess milk.

soak bread in milk

Add the eggs, parsley, garlic, pinch of pepper and cheese to the bread mixture. Mix until well incorporated. Let rest in fridge for about an hour.

incorporate the rest of the ingredients and let rest

Shape into small balls and fry in vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Then place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

ready to be fried



In a large pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the minced garlic and onion. Add the chopped tomato or sauce from the bottle, and a glass of water. Let cook for about 10 minutes. Once the water evaporates, add some basil (I also add a little chopped parsley) and salt to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes, on medium heat. Make sure you stir constantly to prevent burning. Transfer the balls into the sauce and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Buon Appetito!

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