Polpettine Di Cavolfiore

Cauliflower mixed with cheese and egg, shaped into balls and then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried, are a delicious choice for a first course or vegetarian entree.

The traditional cheese in this Sicilian recipe, Caciocavallo, which means “cheese on horseback” gets its name from the manner in which the cheese is always tied together in a rope and dangled over a wooden board to drain and age. This Italian type of pasta filata (stretched curd) cheese is made out of sheep’s or cow’s milk and is produced throughout Southern Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caciocavallo is stretched and shaped by hand like mozzarella and provolone. When it is young it has a firm, smooth texture and a mildly salty flavor that grows more pungent as it is aged. It is often made into a gourd shape. Mozzarella or provolone are good substitutions.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup caciocavallo cheese (or mozzarella or provolone), grated
  • 1 bread roll, soaked in milk, squeezed dry
  • 2 eggs
  • nutmeg, pinch
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • olive oil, for frying
  • Salt and pepper
  • Simple tomato sauce
  1. Remove the stem and and outer leaves of the cauliflower and discard. Using a pot large enough to hold the whole cauliflower, fill with water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until tender 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain cauliflower and chop in small pieces.
  3. In a bowl, place chopped cauliflower, cheese, the roll, 1 egg, nutmeg and a bit of pepper.
  4. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together and shape into balls.
  5. In a small shallow bowl, beat the remaining egg and a bit of salt with a fork. Dip the balls in the egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Fry balls until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve hot as is or with simple tomato sauce.

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