“I have al­ways loved ex­plor­ing street food through­out all the re­gions of Italy. One of my fond­est mem­o­ries was be­ing at a fes­ti­val near my fam­ily’s home­town in Vallo di Diano, Cam­pa­nia, where I tried a plate of shaved pig’s head served with coarse sea salt and an Amalfi le­mon half. It was per­fect. I can never re­sist a lam­pre­dotto panino in Florence or olive as­colane in As­coli; street food will al­ways be such a ma­jor part of Ital­ian cul­ture and cui­sine. You can find many dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions of this Polpette di Pane (fried bread, finoc­chiona and pecorino dumplings) through­out south­ern Italy. Try sub­sti­tut­ing an­chovies for sa­lumi or leave the meat out com­pletely—ei­ther way, it will be de­li­cious!” 1¾ cups high- qual­ity bread 200 g finoc­chiona or any other type of Ital­ian

sa­lumi, thinly sliced and cut into strips ¾ cup pecorino fresco (or other soft melt­ing

cheese, such as fontina), cut into small cubes 2 eggs 1 cup fresh cow’s-milk ri­cotta 1 cup grated pecorino ro­mano Hand­ful Ital­ian pars­ley, stems re­moved and roughly

chopped Whole milk Zest of 1 le­mon Sun­flower oil, for deep fry­ing Le­mon wedges, for serv­ing

Re­move crust from bread and save for an­other use. Rip crust­less bread into large dice-sized pieces.

Place bread in a large bowl and add enough milk to just cover. Al­low bread to be­come fully sat­u­rated with milk (ap­prox­i­mately 5 min­utes). Lightly squeeze most of the milk out of the bread. ( The bread should still have a lit­tle ab­sorbed milk re­main­ing.) Dis­card or reuse milk as you like.

In a sep­a­rate mix­ing bowl, add eggs, ri­cotta, pecorino, pars­ley and le­mon zest. Us­ing a whisk, mix un­til com­bined. Add bread to the ri­cotta mix­ture. Us­ing your hands, mix to­gether un­til just com­bined. Add finoc­chiona and cubed cheese; mix well. Let rest for 15 min­utes or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

To make the polpette, form mix­ture into balls ap­prox­i­mately 1½ inches in size. Heat oil in a medium-sized pot to 350° F. Fry polpette in batches (avoid crowd­ing the pot) un­til golden brown. Re­move polpette us­ing a spi­der or slot­ted spoon. Serve im­me­di­ately with a le­mon wedge.

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