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March 9

Saint of the day:

Saint Catherine of Bologna

Patron Saint of Artists, liberal arts, against temptations and Bologna

St. Catherine of Bologna's Story

Some Franciscan saints led fairly public lives; Catharine represents the saints who served the Lord in obscurity.

Born in Bologna, Catharine was related to the nobility in Ferrara, and was educated at court there. She received a liberal education at the court and developed some interest and talent in painting. In later years as a Poor Clare, Catharine sometimes did manuscript illumination and also painted miniatures.

At the age of 17, she joined a group of religious women in Ferrara. Four years later, the whole group joined the Poor Clares in that city. Jobs as convent baker and portress preceded her selection as novice mistress.

In 1456, she and 15 other sisters were sent to establish a Poor Clare monastery in Florence. As abbess, Catharine worked to preserve the peace of the new community. Her reputation for holiness drew many young women to the Poor Clare life. She was canonized in 1712. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Catharine of Bologna is May 9.





Church of Corpus Domini or Chiesa della Santa - Bologna

Corpus Domini, Bologna

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The fried cream is a traditional preparation that is served in various regions of Italy, either as an appetizer or as a side dish or as a dessert. 
The fried Bolognese or Marche-style cream is tasted in these regions together with a mixed fried mixture of Ascolan olives, vegetables and fried meat. 
The fried cream is instead consumed in Venice at the end of the meal, as a dessert, especially during the Carnival period. 


Fried Cream

Ingredients for 40 pieces

  • 500 ml Whole milk 

  • 3 Yolks 

  • 100 g Sugar 

  • 40 g Corn starch 

  • 40 g Flour 00

  • 1 zest Lemon 

  • 1 Vanilla bean 

For the Breading & Frying 

  • Breadcrumbs to cover

  • 2 Eggs 

  • Peanut oil to fry


  1. Cook the cream well until it has a fairly compact consistency,

  2. at this point pour it into a pan that you will have covered with transparent film and roll it out
    so that it has a thickness of about 2 cm (we for this quantity we used a square pan 22x22 cm). 

  3. Level the cream well with a spatula and then let it cool in a cool and dry place for about 2 hours
    (do not store the cream in the fridge and do not cover it, otherwise it will remain very wet). 
    When the cream is very cold, transfer it to a cutting board and cut it into cubes or lozenges,
    using a sharp knife.

  4. Pass each piece of cream first in the breadcrumbs, covering it well on all sides,

  5. then in the beaten egg 

  6. and then again in the breadcrumbs.

  7. Fry the cream morsels in hot peanut oil, until they are golden. 

  8. Drain them with a skimmer

  9. and place the fried cream on absorbent paper to lose excess oil. 

  10. With this dose you will get around 40 tidbits of fried cream!


Fried stuffed olives Ascolana style ( olive all'ascolana )

Makes: 60

  • 60 large, whole green olives

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) butter

  • 1/2 small carrot, finely chopped

  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 celery stick, finely chopped

  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) pork, finely diced or minced

  • 3 1/2 ounces 100 grams beef, finely diced or minced

  • 3 1/2 ounces 100 grams chicken, finely diced or minced

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) dry white wine

  • Pinch of nutmeg

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1egg yolk

  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 whole egg

  • 1 cup (100 grams) flour

  • 1 cup (50 grams) breadcrumbs

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying


  1. First, prepare the olives. Arm yourself with a small knife. (A regular table or butter knife is easiest to work with; you may prefer a sharp knife, but they can cut too easily through the olive, resulting in breakage). Begin trimming around the pit of the olive, much like you would peel the skin off an apple, to create a "spiral" of olive meat and to remove the pit. Discard the pit, and place the olive in a bowl with the water and salt. Continue with the rest of the olives. (You may want helpers.)

  2. For the filling, over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil in a skillet, and saute the carrot, onion, and celery for about 5 minutes. Add all the pork, beef, and chicken, and cook, stirring gently, for about 5 minutes. Then, add the white wine, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring gently, for a further 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced slightly. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend, until smooth and fine like a paste.

  3. To the meat mixture, add the egg yolk and Parmesan cheese, and blend again. You should have a rather solid, compact filling that you can easily shape into a ball. If it is a bit soft or sticky, place in the refrigerator to chill. This filling can also be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container until needed.

  4. To fill the olives, take a 1/2-teaspoon sized portion of the filling, roll it into an oval shape, and wrap an olive around it (like the filling is taking the place of the pit). Press gently to close the olive perfectly over the filling. Repeat with the rest of the olives. When all the olives are ready, they can be refrigerated at this point and kept until you need to fry them.

  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a pinch of salt. Put the flour and the breadcrumbs in 2 other, separate small bowls.

  6. Fill a small saucepan with enough olive oil for the olives will float in. Bring the oil to medium heat.

  7. Double-coat the olives by first dipping them in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then back into the egg and back into the breadcrumbs. Drop them carefully into the hot oil and fry for about 1 minute, turning them gently to brown evenly. Fry in small batches (do not overcrowd the pan otherwise the temperature will drop significantly), and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately. Note: If the olives are browning too quickly, it means the oil is too hot and you will end up with a soft filling rather than a fully cooked one (the egg will be uncooked but the meat of course is already cooked). Turn the heat down a notch and try again, cooking them slower.



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