Potato and Ricotta Balls

The Sicilian love of potatoes is well documented. The fertile soil from Etna gives the potatoes grown there golden flesh and a very particular flavour. This recipe is extremely child-friendly as they love to discover the ricotta in the middle. I urge you to try it with other ingredients – ham, olives and onions are all good.
This dish will be demonstrated by Urusla Ferrigno at the NI Potato Festival on Saturday 1st October 2016. The recipe is from ‘Flavours of Sicily by Ursula Ferrigno (Ryland & Small, £18.99) Photography by David Munn. Signed copies of Ursula’s book will be available at the event.

Difficulty medium
Preparation Time 10
Cooking Time 30
Servings 8
Main Ingredients
  • 500 g old potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 extra egg yolks
  • 125 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • a generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, freshly chopped
  • 225 g ricotta cheese
  • 100 g dried breadcrumbs
  • olive oil, for frying (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Main Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins, then peel and mash in a ricer. Add the two egg yolks and the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and parsley and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the ricotta and season well.
  3. Beat the whole eggs in a bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
  4. Make little nests of the potato mixture in your palms and fill up the hollows with a spoonful of ricotta. Seal the mixture to form a ball (the balls should be golf-ball sized). Continue to make more balls until all the mixture is completely used.
  5. Dip each ball first into the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs.
  6. You can either fry the polpette until golden in olive oil or bake them in an oven preheated to 200C, Gas 6 for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve warm or cold. They are excellent for picnics and family gatherings.
Allergy Advice
This recipe may include:
  • Eggs
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