How to Make Italian Street Food: Panzerotti
Panzerotti: one of the most delightful Italian street foods
Coming from the regions of Basilicata and Puglia, Panzerotti are fried dough filled with simple ingredients. When the yeast-dough hits the oil, they puff up and quickly cook whatever delicious ingredients you have filled them with. You can make them larger and serve them as a nice lunch, or as I show you below, they can be made into small, appetizer sizes and filled with the traditional tomato and mozzarella (called Panzerotto Materano). Adults and children alike will devour these delicious bites. Get out your rolling pin and let’s get started!
1 pound all purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh yeast
Grapeseed oil for frying
1 can San Marzano Tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 ball fresh Mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water.
Add the salt to a 1/2 cup of warm water.
Sift the flour in a large bowl.
Add the salt water and yeast mixture to the flour and combine until the mixture turns to a soft ball.
Add the olive oil and mix well.
Transfer the dough to lightly floured board and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into about 20 balls and place them onto baking sheets, leaving generous space around each.
Cover the trays with a clean cotton towel and set in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours, or until they double in size.
Gently flatten each ball into a 5-inch circle. Place some tomato, mozzarella and a basil leaf (or other ingredients of your choice) into the center of the circle.
Season with salt and pepper and brush the edges with water.
Fold each one over and seal the edges together and eliminate excess dough with a dough cutter. Repeat with the remaining balls and filling.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan to 350°. Place a one or two panzerottini into the oil in batches and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.
Influenced by memories in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, Italian-born Francesco Romano is the man behind the food blog, Coco de Mama. He shares recipes and culinary knowledge with Mazzoni fans each month.