Italian Regional Recipes

Monachina, Neapolitan Fried Hard-Boiled Eggs Bechamel Filled

Uova alla Monachina in Italian language, namely hard-boiled eggs stuffed with a sauce made from hard-boiled egg yolks mixed with béchamel, then breaded and pan-fried, served as a starter however also perfect as a main course, better if paired by something fresh and light to lighten the palate.

This traditional Easter dish from Naples and its region Campania, has a French and noble origin.

So not a popular recipe as the presence of béchamel suggests a dish was born in Naples between the 18th and 19th centuries; by the Monzù (a Neapolitan mispronunciation of the French word Monsieur), the head cooks of the aristocratic houses in Campania during the supremacy of French gastronomy.


Serves 4, Preparation 25 mins + 1 h in the fridge, Cooking 20 mins

  • 8 hard-boiled eggs
  • 4 tbsp. grated Parmigiano cheese
  • a tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • Plain Flour/AP Flour, to taste, approx. 200 g, sifted
  • Breadcrumbs, to taste, approx. 200 g
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Salt and ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Peanut oil for deep-frying, approx. 500 ml

For the béchamel sauce:

  • 200 ml whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 dl cream, room temperature
  • 40 g sifted Plain Flour/AP Flour
  • 40 g unsalted butter
  • Fine Salt, a pinch

Method

Start with the béchamel sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan and pour in the sifted flour, cook for 5 minutes, then pour in the milk and cream, a pinch of salt and mix with a whisk. Cook the béchamel sauce for about 15 minutes until it is quite thick.

Boil the eggs for 8 minutes by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the water. Cool under cold running water and peel them. Split the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthways. Empty them with a teaspoon by putting the yolks in a bowl together with the bechamel, add grated Parmigiano, a sprinkle of black ground pepper and mix.

Stuff the half hard-boiled egg whites with the bechamel mixture and reassemble the egg with the other half egg white, as if they were sandwiches.

Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to compact them.

Flour the eggs, then in the beaten eggs and then cover with breadcrumbs, heat the oil, fry until golden then drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and serve.

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