Italian scotch olives Recipe – Italian Special

Giving olives the scotch egg treatment by rolling them in sausagemeat and breadcrumbs before frying, creates a great starter, or nibble to serve with drinks. This recipe comes courtesy of Italian restaurant Luca, where it’s served with confit garlic mayo and crispy sage leaves

  • Prep Time45 min
  • Cook Time20 min
  • Total Time1 hr 5 min

Italian scotch olives Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½tsp thyme, chopped
  • ½tsp sage, chopped
  • 100ml red wine
  • 300g sausagemeat
  • pitted Gordal olives, patted dry of brine
  • 150g plain flour, seasoned
  • 6 egg yolks, whisked with 3 tbsp of milk
  • 200g panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

How to Make Italian scotch olives


Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes until just softening, then add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook for further 3 minutes. Add the herbs and wine, and reduce to a glaze. Spread the mixture onto a large plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.


Combine the sausagemeat and onion mixture in a mixing bowl, and work the ingredients together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 10 x 25g balls (each about the size of a quail’s egg).


Take an olive and wrap the meat around it until completely covered (just like a scotch egg). Roll the scotch olives around in the seasoned flour (use a plate or flat bowl) coating all over. Dip the scotch olives individually in the egg yolk, let the excess drip off, then coat thoroughly in the breadcrumbs. Put on a plate ready for cooking.


Fill a pan no more than a third full with vegetable oil and heat to 190C or until a cube of bread browns in 25 seconds. Fry the scotch olives in batches for 3-4 minutes or until deeply golden and crisp, and the meat is cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with mayonnaise, if you like.