A panzerotto (Italian: [pantseˈrɔtto] ( listen); plural panzerotti [pantseˈrɔtti] ( listen), also known as panzarotto [pantsaˈrɔtto]), is a savory turnover that originated in Central and Southern Italian cuisine which resembles a small calzone, both in shape and dough used for its preparation.
Panzerotti’s are essentially salted, deep-fried, pockets of dough filled with melted mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and your pick of “toppings.” During the frying process, they create a pocket of steam that needs to be released prior to eating.
Why do people like Panzerotto fritto
They were super cheesy, salty, chewy (in a good way) and oh-so filling. The fries were also crunchy, salty (can you tell I love salt?) and were a delicious contrast to the cheesy goodness of the calzones. It was packed with bubbly, stringy melted cheese, crispy prosciutto, and pure happiness.
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Ingredients that go into Panzerotto Fritto
- Flour 00 2 ¼ cups (250 g)
- Manitoba flour 2 cups (250 g)
- Water 1 ¼ cup (285 g) – lukewarm
- Extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp (8 g)
- Fresh brewer’s yeast 1.8 tsp (8.5 g)
- Sugar 1 tsp (5 g)
- Fine salt 2 tsp (10 g)
FOR THE FILLING
- Fior di latte mozzarella cheese 2 cups (250 g)
- Tomato puree 7 oz (200 g)
- Fine salt to taste
- Oregano to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
How to cook Panzerotto Fritto
Make the dough: In a large bowl, mix together the two flours. Dissolve the yeast in some of the warm water, followed by the sugar. Dissolve the salt in the rest of the warm water. Add the yeast and sugar mixture to the flour, and slowly add the salt water whilst using your hands to bring the dough together. Drizzle in the oil, and turn the dough out to a smooth surface and continue to work with your hands until it is soft and smooth.
Divide the dough into 20 pieces and then shape each piece into a ball. Place the dough balls on a lined baking tray, cover with plastic, and let them rise until they have doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: chop the mozzarella into small cubes and in a medium bowl, stir in the tomato purée. Season with salt and stir in the oregano, to taste.
When the dough has risen, heat the frying oil in a deep frying pan.
On a lightly oiled work surface, roll each dough ball into a 20 cm disc. Place a heaped tablespoon full of filling on one half of each disc. Carefully lift the dough from one side to fold over the other, forming a half moon shape and press down with your thumb to seal. Now, to create the classic panzerotti shape and also to ensure the panzerotti don’t open up whilst frying: fold the edges over themselves, and use the tips of a fork to press them down.
Heat enough oil in a deep skillet. Working with just a couple of panzerotti at a time, place carefully into the boiling oil, turning over once to ensure they are cooked evenly, until golden on both sides, about 4-5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the panzerotti and transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining panzerotti and serve while hot.
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What can Panzerotto fritto be served together with
Panzerotti can be served either as an appetizer (I suggest a smaller size) or as a hearty snack. My daughter loves them; I usually prepare them for dinner as a main course accompanied by a seasonal salad. The recipe with tomato and mozzarella is classic, and you can add a pinch of oregano for some aroma or some ham for a richer flavor.
Other popular Italian food
Besides Panzerotto fritto, there are other Italian food dishes that are highly popular in Singapore and around the world. Below is a list of some of the most mentioned ones:
- Bagna Cauda
- Fritto misto piemontese
- Gelato (Ice cream)
- I formaggi ( the Cheeses)
- Il Tartufo (The Truffle)
- Olive Ascolante (Ascoli olives)
- Panzerotto fritto (Fried Panzerotto)
- Pesto Alla Genovese
- Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham)
- Sardine in Saor
- Tortelli and Ravioli
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