Today’s recipe from our villages is not quite typical of a specific village tradition but it is a variant of one of the most famous dishes all around the world of the Italian cuisine. We are talking about the filled and fried Pumpkin Blossoms, as suggested by the municipality of Finale Ligure’s village, Finalborgo. You can find variants of fried pumpkin blossoms all along the Italian territory: there is the classic version with just the battered blossoms; then we have the version filled with anchovy in oil and Provatura cheese (typical of Lazio); the Tuscan or Umbrian variant has a batter made with eggs, flour and a little bit of water or beer; the Neapolitan version has the pumpkin blossoms cut into little stripes which are then battered with flour, water, brewer’s yeast, eggs, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese; and then we also have the version of Calabria according to which the blossoms have a batter made only of flour and water and are then fried in olive oil and served with cold cuts and local salami. This is basically a dish which is prepared and reinterpreted all around the Italian boot but the version that we are making today, which also seems very delicious, comes from Liguria and in particular from the village of Finale Ligure, where the students of the Institute Migliorini prepare the fried pumpkin blossoms filled with ricotta and parmesan cheese, ham and mozzarella. This simple and savoury dish is the ideal to restore yourself during hot summer’s days.
For the filling:
First, you should start by preparing the batter that will have to rest for about an hour. Sift the flour with the yeast in a high bowl and mix it with the water and a little bit of beer by using a whisk to avoid lumps and then add a pinch of salt. Now you can go on by washing extremely well the pumpkin blossoms both outside and inside and then dry them with paper, being careful not to break them. To prepare the filling you should mix the ricotta cheese with finely minced mozzarella and ham, a little bit of parmesan cheese adding salt and pepper to taste. Mix the mixture really well with a fork. Then you can fill the pumpkin blossoms with the filling and be sure to close them at the top, pass them in the flour and in the batter. Now they are ready to be fried in abundant and boiling hot oil. Drain and dry them with paper to get rid of the exceeding oil. Lastly, salt them according to your personal taste and now the dish is ready to be served.