• Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 35m
  • Rating ****

Serves 4

In a strictly traditional lunch in Genoa these cuculli, a kind of rough and tasty croquette of fried potatoes, are served as a hot antipasto, or as a vegetable with stewed rabbit or lamb. Other Italian regions have similar dishes, but what makes the Genoese cuculli special is the fine flavor imparted by the marjoram and pine nuts.


  • 2 pounds floury potatoes
  • Salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 sprig marjoram
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, for frying


Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Boil in plenty of salted water until cooked through. As soon as they have cooled enough to handle, peel the potatoes and mash them in a food mill, a potato ricer or with a fork. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter and beat vigorously until the potatoes are smooth and soft.

Pound the marjoram and pine nuts in a mortar and place in a bowl with the potatoes and a pinch of salt. One at a time, beat in the egg yolks, making sure each one is absorbed before adding the next. Stir in the Parmesan until the dough is soft but firm.

In a shallow bowl, beat 2 egg whites with a fork or whisk. Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl. Take about 2 teaspoons of the potato mixture and form it with your hands into a little ball. Dip it in the egg white and then in the breadcrumbs. Continue until all the potato "dough" is used. Put a large skillet on to heat with enough olive oil to cover the balls. When the olive oil starts to smoke, fry the potato balls until they swell up and are evenly browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 1026

nutrition information per serving

616 calories; 37g total fat; 216mg cholesterol; 362mg sodium; 58g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 15g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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