Pastella is the base for many types of fried food in Italy. As it often happens with Italian cuisine, there’s not just one recipe, but it varies according to the particular food you want to cook.
For instance, vegetables and meat need different kind of pastella, and you can prepare it in different ways. Let’s see which are the most used batters in our cooking classes.
Pastella per Frittura
Batter for fried vegetables
High quality Tuscan olive oil is perfect for optimal fried vegetables and meats. You will find them on all menus in a Tuscan restaurant/Trattoria. The vegetables used in the mixed fry will depend on what is in season. Sage leaves and zucchini flowers are also battered in this way and served as antipasto. Favourites include artichokes, onion rings, zucchini and
zucchini flowers, mushrooms and peppers, all of which are served as a side dish.
Pastella per le Verdure Fritte #1
Batter for fried vegetables – Version # 1
• 100 g / ¾ cup of flour
• 1 egg
• half glass of white wine
• 3 table spoons of olive oil
• salt and pepper
Place into a mixing bowl the flour, 1 pinch of salt and pepper, the oil and the egg yolk. Mix this with the wine and the water until you have a creamy batter. Leave for about half an hour and, when you are about to use it, add the beaten egg white. Dip the vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, zucchini flowers, onions rings, green tomatoes…) into the batter and fry in hot sunflower oil until browned. Drain on paper towel and serve.
Pastella per le Verdure Fritte # 2
Batter for fried vegetables – Version # 2
• 100 g flour
• 1 egg yolk
• 80 ml lager beer or sparkling water or white wine
• 1 egg white, whisked with a small pinch of salt
until stiff peaks form
Mix flour, egg yolks, salt and beer. You should obtain a creamy mixture. Let it rest for half an hour then gently fold the egg whites into it. Dip the vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, zucchini flowers, onions rings, green tomatoes…) into the batter and fry in hot sunflower oil until browned. Drain on paper towel and serve.
Pastella per Carne
Batter for meat
• 200 grams fine, light potato flour
• 150 g water
• 45 g ice
• 1 pinch of sugar
Mix the potato flour with the sugar, add the water and stir well until the liquid is smooth and creamy, without any lumps from the flour. Add the ice and leave to cool for 2 minutes so the ice can melt. Stir slightly. Place the cubes of the meat (2-3 cms cubes) into the batter, then into the potato flour, then again into the batter. Use hot peanut oil and place the battered pieces of meat into the oil. It will normally take about 3 or 4 minutes to cook. Take out, drain onto kitchen paper then serve. Add a pinch of salt before serving.
** Why do we use the ice? The ice makes the batter cold. When the COLD batter is place into the HOT oil, this is what causes the batter to become crunchy and light without soaking up too much oil. **
Pastella per carne al vino bianco
Batter for meat with white wine
• 150g flour
• 1 eggs
• 1 pinch of salt
• ½ glass white wine
• 2 Tbs grappa
In a mixing bowl place the flour, pinch of salt, white wine and grappa. Separate the eggs. Leave the eggs white to sit for half an hour while you do the rest. Put the unbeaten eggs yolk into the flour/wine mixture. Mix well with a spoon. Don’t beat. Beat the eggs white until it forms stiff, white peaks, then fold into the flour/wine mixture. Place the pieces of meat into the mixture and then into the heated peanut oil.
* How do we get the better nice and crunchy? The oil must be hot but not smoking. Use enough oil so that the meat cubes are immersed in the oil and not touching the bottom or each other.