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Little balls with thistle from Cervia

The maturing thistle in the sand

Cervia's Sweet Cardoon - Ph. Mauro Foli




Cardo di Cervia is one of the products that fill Cervia's 0 km basket.
It is a particular variety of hunchback cardoon, and is processed entirely by hand. It ripens underground in the sand and this peculiarity helps to eliminate the typical bitter aftertaste of the vegetable, giving instead an unmistakable sweetness.

Learn more about the Cervia sweet thistle.



Little balls with thistle from Cervia

Polpettine al cardo dolce di Cervia


2 servings

  • 1 kg raw thistle from Cervia
  • 100 gr Parmesan cheese
  • 100 gr breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • nutmeg
  • oil for frying


Clean the thistles and cook them al dente.
Dry the ribs well and cut them finely with a knife.
Add all the other ingredients to the mixture and mix well, leaving aside the breadcrumbs for breading
Make the balls as big as ping pong ones then coat them with breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil.
For better digestibleness and lightness, you can cook the balls in boiling milk, soaking them completely and checking their integrity.

Nonna Candina's recipe
Recipe published on

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