RICOTTA BALLS…PALLINE DI RICOTTA..CREAMY CHEESE MORSELS

 

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RICOTTA..one of the most popular Italian Cheese throughout the world prized for it’s versatility and mild taste. It’s a star player in certain types of Lasagne, Ravioli, a host of Baked Pasta dishes, the main ingredient in the Cannoli cream, pastries, gnocchi, cavatelli, rustica holiday pies, calzones. This cheese is a work horse and I’m going to give you yet another use of it..PALLINE…translated, that mean “little balls”  (stop giggling).  As with most cultures Italians love small ball shaped foods, especially of the fried variety.  Can these be baked for those who prefer that?  No idea. I’m a purist.  This dish was created to be fried.  I stick with that. So take a look at the picture….you know you want to make these.

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This recipe will make about 24-30 depending on how adept you are to rolling same sized balls. Apparently from the picture I am not, nor will I ever profess to be, lol. Some are more round than others,  some are bigger than others, some are slightly out of shape. This is homecooking. Don’t stress. Enjoy it!  In my area we have so many Italian Pork Stores make these and there are sometimes additional ingredients, like prosciutto,pesto, etc.  This recipe I’m sharing with you is strictly a PALLINE DI RICOTTA..Ricotta and other cheeses, no meats, or other vegetables.  Let’s talk for a minute about ingredients. Too much can be too much.  Researching other ricotta ball recipes there sometimes is a preponderance of overkill.  I don’t try to be a native Italian, because quite frankly that’s an impossibility for me.  I do try to keep most of my cooking and blogposts to adhering to some general food concepts that one might find in Italy where less is more, the quality of ingredients is the main event. So ,having said all of that let me add that as tempted as you might be DO NOT ADD garlic to this. I’d be very dishonest if within my own blog I wasn’t honest with my own cooking styles.  Garlic does not make a dish Italian,ie: Italian foo doesn’t have garlic in everything.  Generally cheese,soft cheese fillings are without garlic.  Like a calzone or layers of Lasagne, the cheese is mixed with a minimum of ingredients. The garlic overpowers the cheeses in this application.  A delicious light crispy shell that breaks into a soft cheesey center…this  is a sensory delight.   Let start cooking!!

TIME:  2 hours

MAKES:  25-30 WALNUT SIZED BALLS

1 cup fresh bread crumbs (not seasoned)
12 cup PECORINO ROMANO, FRESHLY GRATED
13 cup DICED MOZZARELLA, don’t use fresh mozzarella, low moisture type is best
1 TBS. finely chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
1 1/2 CUPS DRAINED RICOTTA
3 LARGE EGGS, SEPARATED
14 cup flour
1/2 CUP UNSEASONED DRY BREADCRUMBS
OIL  (I use olive oil, you can use Vegetable, or Canola)
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper
Beat the egg yolks then  the add in the pecorino, 1 cup breadcrumbs, pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, parsley, ricotta, mozzarella.  When this is all well blended and you can easily roll it into a walnut sized ball, cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
Set up your breading station..a pan of the flour, a pan of the egg whites, beaten, and a pan of the plain breadcrumbs.
Remove the ricotta mixture from the refrigerator and form into about 25-30 walnut sized balls.  Then roll each one in the flour, shake off excess, then into the egg, shake off excess, then into the breadcrumbs.  Line up on a tray.  When completed refrigerate for 15 minutes.
In a heavy high sides pan heat up 3 inches of Vegetable/Canola or Olive Oil and when it gets to 320 degrees F then test one ball…it should fry on all sides only till it gets golden, should take about 4 minutes or so.  Drain on paper towels.  Do one first to get the hang of it. Then continue the rest, i’ll advise only 6 at a time..no more…Let the oil rest for 1/2 minute before adding the next six.  Do this in batches until done.  Serve!  you can even cook ahead and reheat.  But they are never as good as right out of the pan.  They freeze well too.

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Enjoy this treat!!  Great for dinners and parties!!

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8 thoughts on “RICOTTA BALLS…PALLINE DI RICOTTA..CREAMY CHEESE MORSELS

  1. rozpaige

    Oh yum, so glad that i found you through Gina’s blog. Now your newest follower (I think)!

    Salute’,
    Roz

    Reply

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