Sicilian Fried Potato Rolls


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

These traditional croquettes are popular all over Sicily, and can be bought, piping hot and crisp, from markets, or made at home. When times were hard, meat was a luxury afforded only by the few, so vegetables, which could be grown with relative ease, were often combined with basic ingredients to create main-course dishes to feed the family.


  • 500 g/ lb large potatoes
  • 1 slice cooked ham, about 25 g/1 oz
  • 25 g/1 oz/1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 25 g/1 oz/¼ cup coarsely grated caciocavallo or provolone cheese
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 25 g/1 oz/¼ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 25 g/1 oz/¼ cup plain/all-purpose flour
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp stale white breadcrumbs
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the ham and the parsley together and set the mixture aside.
  3. When the potatoes are really tender, drain them, steam dry for a minute, then peel and mash them as finely as possible.
  4. Scrape the mash into a bowl and stir in the ham and parsley. Add the cheeses, egg yolks and butter. Mix well, season with salt and pepper and leave to cool. Lightly beat the egg whites.
  5. Put the flour, egg whites and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls.
  6. Mould the potato mixture into sausage shapes by rolling spoonfuls between the palms of your hands. Coat them in flour, then in beaten egg white and finally in breadcrumbs, to cover completely.

  7. Heat the oil for deep-frying until a small piece of bread dropped into it sizzles instantly. Add the cazzilli, in batches, and fry them for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden all over.

  8. Drain the cazzilli carefully on kitchen paper and serve piping hot.