Makes 8 stuffing balls
340 g green pitted Fragata olives
6 tbsp sugar
200 ml water
30g butter, lard or dripping or 2 tbsp olive oil
6 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small bunch of sage, finely chopped
6 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g quality pork sausage meat
400g rashers of smoked streaky bacon, pulsed to a mince in a processor or finely chopped
200g fresh white breadcrumbs, (made from crustless white bread whizzed in a processor)
4 tbsp walnuts, lightly crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
16 large slices prosciutto, or parma ham
Vegetable oil, for dabbing
1. Put the olives and the sugar in a small saucepan. Add in the water and stir, then heat until bubbling gently and stir again until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Turn off the heat and leave to go cold. The olives should have softened and deflated slightly.
3. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add in shallots and garlic, and fry gently until the shallots have softened but not coloured. Remove from heat.
4. Mix in the sage and thyme, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
5. Mix in the sausage meat, minced bacon, breadcrumbs, walnuts and lemon zest. Use your fingers and make sure everything is well mixed together.
6. Drain away the syrup from the olives then stir into the stuffing mix.
7. Shape the stuffing into 8 balls - each the size of a large golf ball.
8. Wrap each in 2 slices of prosciutto. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to firm up, ideally overnight.
9. Dab them all over with a little oil and roast for 30 minutes at 200, until crisped and cooked through.