Tagliolini pasta arancini (croquettes) from Naples


  • 250 g Tagliolini pasta or spaghetti (1/2 lb) leftover pasta or cooked from scratch
  • 40 g butter (1.5oz)
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese (2oz) grated
  • 50 g scamorza cheese or provolone del monaco or mozzarella (2oz)
  • 50 g ham (2oz) diced
  • 4 eggs
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • all purpose flour as required
  • white breadcrumbs as required
  • olive oil or peanut oil as required


  1. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt when it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the tagliolini or spaghetti al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Fresh tagliolini only take 3 minutes to cook.
  2. When the pasta is ready, drain it and season immediately with the butter and Parmesan. Place it in a bowl and allow to cool. Beat 2 of the eggs and add them to the cooled pasta. Add salt to taste and mix together well. 
  3. Cut the cheese and ham into small cubes. Beat the other 2 eggs and add a little salt to them.
  4. On a floured surface, divide the spaghetti or tagliolini into eight portions and form each portion into a ball. You need to slightly squeeze the pasta ball to get it all to stick together. Make a hole in the middle of each ball with your thumb. Place the cheese and ham in the center and close the ball around the hole.  
  5. Roll the ball over the floured surface, dip in the beaten eggs and then coat in breadcrumbs. I did this last step twice, even though the recipe I followed didn’t require it.
  6. If possible, leave the balls in a cool place or in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Then fry them in heated olive or peanut oil until they are completely golden. You don’t need a deep fryer to do this. I did it in a normal frying pan, but you have to turn the pasta arancini to ensure they are golden on each side.
  7. Drain the pasta arancini on kitchen paper and serve hot either as a snack or with a salad.