Home > Pallotte Cacio e Ova by Danilo Cortellini

Pallotte Cacio e Ova
by Danilo Cortellini

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

In the Southern Italian region of Abruzzo, if there’s one dish that’s sure to be served with aperitivo, it’s Pallotte Cacio e Ova.

The dish is a classic in the region, and with good reason – it combines breadcrumbs and cheese into little balls that are fried and served with tomato sauce. In other words, the ideal little snack. And who better to instruct in the art of Pallotte Cacio e Ova than Abruzzo native himself, Chef Danilo Cortellini? With over 20 years of experience creating amazing dishes across Italy and the UK, Chef Danilo has shared his own recipe for the Abruzzese speciality with us here.

What you'll need

150 g of grated hard cheese (like Parmesan, or whatever you have in the pantry!) 🧀

2 eggs

100 g of bread (crust removed)

1/2 garlic clove (chopped)

1 small bunch of fresh basil or parsley

1 red pepper

1 litre of vegetable oil (for frying)

100g of basic tomato sauce (cooked) OR shop-bought tomato sauce

50 ml of milk

Salt and pepper (to taste)

How to make it

Step 1

Take the crustless bread and chop roughly into small cubes. If the bread is too dry, soak it in milk, and squeeze the excess liquid before creating the balls.

Step 2

Mix the chopped bread with chopped parsley, garlic, 4 eggs and pecorino cheese.

Step 3

Do not add too much salt, as pecorino cheese is already salty. Mix and knead well by hands until smooth. Create small balls. Traditionally, they should not be larger than 3 cm.

Step 4

As an accompaniment, chop the pepper, roast them with oil and a pinch of salt and add it to the tomato sauce.

Step 5

Heat the vegetable oil, ready to fry the cheese balls. The balls should be fried for 2-3 minutes until well golden, at a temperature of 160 degrees. Drain the balls from the oil, and dry on kitchen paper.

Step 6

Spread a generous spoonful of tomato sauce with pepper on the centre of the plate. Gently place the cheese balls on the top.

Step 7

Garnish with extra cheese if desired and a fresh Basil leaf. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the top, and serve.

About Danilo Cortellini

Having spent almost twenty years in the hospitality business, Danilo has worked in some of the finest restaurants across Italy and London currently holds the position of Head Chef at the Italian Embassy in London.

Also founder of Danilo Cortellini Ltd, a food, drink and restaurant consultancy company and TIRAMISOO EVENTS, my London based catering and events company.

More Recipes

Blood Orange Semifreddo
by Forza Win

Crushed Olive & Parmesan Crostini
by Polpo

Fennel & Green Bean Salad
by Polpo