From Aosta Valley to Friuli-Venezia Guilia: how Northern Italy celebrates the pleasure of frying

In the coastal Northern regions, fish, but also meat and many vegetables are fried. From appetizers to desserts; cheeses from the valleys, fish from the coast. Everything ends up in the pan. Some unique regional recipes such as the Fried Filled Veal Cutlet from the Aosta Valley, or Fried small crabs from Veneto (Moeche) or Fried Gnocco - a fried raviolo, ideal as an accompaniment to salami and cheese at Aperitivo Hour!

Val d'Aosta - the Aosta Valley: Veal Cutlet

The queen in Val d'Aoasta is Fontina Cheese, but this time wrapped in a slice of grilled ham placed on the veal. It is the Valle d'Aosta cutlet, which combines the tradition of typical foods from the valley at the foot of Mont Blanc with the culture of fried food, strictly fried in butter. In a matter of minutes it is possible to prepare a dish rich in flavour, which over the years has become increasingly widespread in all the typical cuisine restaurants in the Valley and has exported the "method" to the Valle d'Aosta - the union of ham and cheese - all over Italy. 


1⅓ lb. veal (600 g); 7 oz. Fontina Dop (200 g); 5 oz. prosciutto cotto (150 g); 5 oz. butter (140 g); 2 large eggs, lightly beaten; breadcrumbs; salt


Beat the veal slices and cut them into a rectangular shape. Divide the fontina cheese into six even slices. Place a slice of fontina cheese and a slice of ham on each slice of meat, then fold the meat closed like a wallet. Dip the stuffed meat first in the lightly beaten eggs and then in the breadcrumbs, and repeat a second time to ensure the cutlets seal well. 

Heat half of the butter in a skillet until bubbly, and cook the first 3 cutlets in it, over medium heat for a couple of minutes on each side. Discard the used butter and repeat with the other half of the butter to cook the remaining 3 cutlets. Pat the cutlets dry on paper towels, season with salt, and serve piping hot. Grazie La Cucina Italiana!

Veneto: Fried Moeche (small crabs)

The moeche means in Venetian dialect "soft": moeche are small crabs that are eaten only in a very limited period of the year, between April and May or between October and November, when they are more tender. The process with which moeche are fished in the area of Giudecca Island, Chioggia and Burano is very ancient and is protected by Slow Food's Ark of Taste. Also known as Venetian nuggets (they cost between 50 and 70 euros per kilo), they are eaten whole, therefore also with the head and legs. Tradition dictates that they are purchased alive and then stored in the refrigerator. Then they are rinsed, placed in a container with the beaten egg for a couple of hours and finally fried in boiling oil, 3 or 4 minutes maximum (temperature 170-180 degrees). This is how the "moeche del pien" is prepared and is usually served in combination with the typical Venetian white polenta.  Crispy moeche are found in bacari, or street carts. If Moeche are not in season, you can also opt for the famous Fritti Misti or Mixed fried fish . A recipe, which has become a great classic, with prawns, calamari, red mullet, sardines and tufts of octopus but other varieties of fresh fish such as anchovies are also good. Another Venetian delicacy is  fried red radicchio is perhaps the most delicious way to enjoy the prince of radicchio. To be served as a side dish or appetizer, fried radicchio, with its crunchy corn crust, is easy to prepare and very tasty.


Fried gnocco is a typical food of Emilia-Romagna and takes on different terminology depending on the area in which it is eaten and the local history of the individual municipalities and provinces. Fried Gnocco or Fried dumplings, tigelle,  with cured meats, cheeses and unlimited fresh pasta first courses are typical specialties of Emilian cuisine and are conquering the Milanese restaurants thanks to simple, genuine but tasty flavours.

Liguria - Fried Anchovies and Pignolini (small blue fish)

There are plenty of fried dishes in the region of Liguria - and not just fish which is plentiful from the coast. But also delicacies such as chickpea flour  which is fried and is called panissa, fried milk and of course also fried fried meat and vegetables. Under the arcades of the Caricamento area of Genoa, you can smell fried squid rings, calamari and anchovies. Pignolini and pigneu are also fried whole, from head to tail, to be served in the form of pancakes. And the cod also ends up in boiling oil, for another of the traditions of this slice of Italy. And of course fried Anchovies - fresh, delicate, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, then immersed in oil at 170 degrees and placed on a sheet of paper. 

Trentino - Alto Adige - Tirtlen - Fried Ravioli

Tutres in Ladin, tirschtlan in Val Pusteria or in the , rest of Alto Adige,  they are called tirtlen/tirtlan: or fried ravioli, filled with ricotta, boiled spinach, potatoes or sauerkraut. It starts with a mixture of two flours, white and rye: the dough is left to rest, it is rolled out and the filling is then placed: the tirtlen are then closed into a rectangular and round shape, and fried in boiling oil. This typical South Tyrolean food is particularly popular at village festivals.ncient vote against the plague. There is a sweet variant, with a ricotta and poppy seed filling: in this case, it is customary to accompany the tirtlen with honey.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Frico: Fried Potato Cake

Frico, an exquisite fried potato cake with potatoes and cheese characterized by a soft center and a crust. This dish has a profound tradition, which extends its borders from Friuli Venezia Giulia) to the Slovenian and Carinthian lands, where the name varies into frika. There is a frika fest in Tolmino (Slovenia), in addition to the Italian festival which takes place annually in Carpacco di Dignano (Udine). Basically, it is a cheese and potato cake fried in a pan with butter or lard: when crumbly it is made with cheese alone, while if soft it is enriched with potatoes and white onion. From a cheese perspective, Montasio is preferred, aged for six to twelve months and grated directly in the pan (if necessary, together with the onions and potatoes).

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