Scarola (escarole) is a prickly leaf lettuce that Italians cook up and serve in many different ways. My mother-in-law, who comes from the Naples area where use of the scarola is wide spread, would make a delicious pizza di scarola that involved a sauté of scarola with garlic, anchovy, capers and little black olives which she then spread over a pastry-lined flat baking pan. She then covered the filling
with another layer of pastry and put all in the oven. Since this was one of our family’s favorites, when I discovered that you could buy pre-made puff pastry in the grocery store, I decided to create this Italian escarole recipe as an antipasto. It makes for great finger food also so can easily be served with cocktails and your guests will be duly impressed!
It’s easier to make if you have a form to make ravioli but if not, just roll out the pastry, divide in half and on one half, place little spoonfuls of the mixture about 3 inches apart. Place the other half of the pastry over it, press down lightly with your hands to seal the two parts of the pastry together and then with a pastry wheel, cut squares around the mounds and you have your ravioli-like puff!
I usually make a good quantity of these and freeze them so that I always have them on hand.
Scarola Puffs Ingredients
1 large (or 2 small) heads of scarola (Escarole)
1 meat cube (bullion cube)
3 large Italian sausages
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic (pressed)
Philadelphia cream cheese
Salt & pepper
Scarola Puffs Preparation
Boil the scarola in large amount of salted water with the meat cube. Drain and squeeze out excess water with your hands. Meanwhile, crumble the sausages and brown with the chopped onion and the garlic in small amount of olive oil. Add the drained scarola
and mix around so that the tastes combine.
Place all in a blender or food processor to chop up. Add just enough cream cheese to amalgamate the mixture. Grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
Roll out puff pastry and place over a lightly floured ravioli form. Put a small amount of scarola filling in each ravioli center. Cover with rolled out puff pastry layer pressing down slightly. Turn ravioli form over and cut out each raviolo with a pastry wheel. Place on baking sheet covered with baking paper and bake for approx 20 min. at 350° F.
To freeze (before baking): freeze them on the baking sheet covered with baking paper. When hard, they can be placed in a sealed plastic bag. Take out of freezer about a 1/2 hour before baking and place on baking sheet (with baking paper) to defrost slightly. Bake as above.