More >

Ascolane Olives, Marche-style

These succulent fried, stuffed olives originated in Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region of Italy. Perfect as an appetizer, I dare you to eat just one! Serves 6



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 rib celery, minced

1 medium carrot, minced

1 small onion, minced

1/4 pound ground beef

1/4 pound ground pork

1/4 pound ground chicken

1/2 cup dry white wine

Zest of one lemon

Dash of ground cloves

A grinding of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 pounds pitted Ascolana olives, or the largest olives you can find

Flour for frying

2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork

​1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs mixed with 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Olive oil for frying


Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan; add the celery, onion, carrot, beef, pork and chicken and cook until meat loses red color. Add wine, zest, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook until mixture thickens. Cool.

Transfer to food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Add the egg, cheese and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs to form a compact mixture.

Fill olives with meat mixture using a pastry bag or make small marble sized balls by hand and wrap olive around the filling.

Flour the olives, toss in the beaten eggs; drain them and coat them in breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Fill a heavy-duty pan 2-quart pan with 4 cups of olive oil and bring to 375°F. Fry the olives, a handful at a time, until nice and golden brown. Drain. Serve warm.

This recipe is featured on Show 2713 – A Surprise Inside.


  1. Rosemary Tucker's avatar

    Rosemary Tucker

    Can you skip the frying and bake instead?
  2. Debbie Macdonald's avatar

    Debbie Macdonald

    where can I get pitted olives from Ascoli? My family is from there and we have been making them for years, I usually get my olives from The Olive Pit in California but would love to make them with pitted olives from Ascoli, we have always just sliced the one side to stuff.

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!