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These Sofficini are delicious fried pastries filled with ham and cheese.

Think about it, pastry filled with ham, cheese and besciamella sauce, crumbed and fried. It’s got to be good. And it is!

Be sure to also try my Bagna Cauda and my delicious Italian Rice Balls appetizers – they are great traditional dishes that everybody loves. Follow up with Chicken Pizzaiola for a tasty Italian feast!

The filling required for the sofficini is variable depending on the size of the rounds that you cut. Also, you will notice sesame seeds on my finished sofficini. No, it’s not traditional. However, I make my own bread crumbs from stale and unfinished bread – never waste bread, remember! Homemade bread crumbs are the best. I always flavor my breadcrumbs with some garlic, herbs, or seeds.

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Ham and cheese fried snack

Sofficini Recipe

Delicious appetizers of pastry filled with ham, cheese and besciamella sauce, crumbed and fried.
5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings:24 sofficini
Author: Marcellina



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 oz (30 grams/ 6 teaspoons) butter
  • teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups flour sifted


  • 1 oz (30 grams/6 teaspoons) butter
  • 6 teaspoons all purpose plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • a grinding of whole nutmeg

To assemble

  • cups (140 grams) cheese gouda, swiss, mozzarella or provolone
  • 1 cup (125 grams) diced ham
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs to coat
  • light olive oil or grape seed oil for shallow frying



  • Bring the milk, water, butter and salt to the boil. Once it boils take it off the heat and  add the flour all at once. Stir well until the dough comes away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a lumpy dough. This is like a choux pastry without the eggs.
  • Once the dough is cool enough to handle knead gently until smooth. It’s a beautiful dough that handles well. Now wrap in plastic and allow to cool to room temperature.


  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until the butter and flour mixture is bubbling. Change to a whisk and carefully add the milk whisking all the time. Bring to boil stirring or whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Once it boils allow to bubble for a minute to cook out the flour. Remove from the heat. Set aside until needed.

To assemble and fry

  • Roll out the dough fairly thinly, about ⅛in/ 3mm. Cut 4in/10cm rounds.
  • In the middle of the round place a rounded teaspoonful each of besciamella, cheese and ham. Pick up like a taco, fold over and press to close. The dough adheres easily and rerolls beautifully.
  • Break eggs in a shallow bowl then beat with a fork. Dip the sofficini first in the egg then in the breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil. Sofficini can be frozen at the breadcrumb stage and then fried from the frozen.
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Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 437mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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  1. Thank you Manu! So, that answers the question Greg posed. It's official Sofficini are not traditional Italian food. But they are very good!
    Renata, coincidentally , Greg Patent has a recipe in his cookbook "A Baker's Odyssey" called "rissois" from Portugal similar but with a creamy shrimp filling.
    Hmmm, so it appears that children (and adults) all over the world have been enjoying a form of this delicious pastry!

  2. WOW!!!!! Your sofficini look perfect!!!! Thank you so much for your sweet words! I am very glad you liked them!I too grew up mostly eating home-made food, but I would sometimes "beg" for sofficini! hehehe They are too good! They are not a traditional dish, and yes… they are a home-made version of a frozen meal! 😉

  3. i love sofficini, my dear…i will prepare them as soon as possible!yours are perfect, as usual…love, Ale.

  4. Hey Marcellina! here in Brazil these are called "risoles" and are super popular! I think this was one of the first things I learned how to cook when i was a teenager 🙂 I love it! Yours looks so delicious!!

  5. Those look seriously tasty! Anything deep fried with cheese is going to taste gorgeous 🙂

  6. Greg, I'm not sure that sofficini are actually a traditional dish. More so, I think this is the homemade version of a frozen meal! Interesting, though! Maybe someone can correct me?

  7. Sooo delicious! Mouthwatering!
    My parents believed in homemade food too, from tomato sauce to fresh and seasonal vegs and fruits! Grew up just fine 😀