Panzerotti are wonderful Pugliese fried savoury turnovers. This crescent shape stuffed pocket is also called Pizze Fritte (fried pizza) and these pockets hold a delicious filling of melty cheese and tomatoes or mortadella and gooey cheese! These are SO delicious (I mean what's not to love about a deep fried pizza pocket) and this is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
The word Panzerotti is based on the word "panza", a variation of Italian the word "pancia" that means belly or tummy. It refers to the puffy swelling of the filling in the pastry that resembles a full tummy.
The delicious street food is designed to be eaten on the go. Panzerotti vary in size and these ones are around 14cms/5.5inches in diameter so it's a good sized walking snack. These pizza pockets swell up more when deep fried as a pocket of air develops.
Fillings for the Panzerotti: Dried tomatoes and mozzarella are the classic and most common filling and Mortadella and provolone is also a common filling. You can also get sweet fillings like Nutella in a panzerotti.
What's the difference between a panzerotti and a calzone? Panzerotti are fried and a calzone is usually baked in the oven. Calzones tend to be larger in size while panzerotti are smaller and around the size of a sandwich.
Can I bake Panzerotti instead of deep frying it? Yes! You can also bake these panzerotti in a 180C/350F oven. Brush with a beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes.
Will panzerotti work if you don't have 00 flour? Yes it will also work with all purpose flour. If you wanted to use a wholemeal flour substitute one quarter of the total flour with wholemeal flour.
Careful of the first bite! If you're eating it just after it has been fried it will be hot and the hot air inside will escape.
I was talking pizza and panzerotti with a friend of mine Giulia and she was telling me that she had just had a tough day at work. She has a physically intense job and by the end of the day she is often physically and mentally exhausted.
She is proudly Italian and as if to show me how spent she was emotionally she said, "Do you know what sort of pizza I ordered? I got it from Dominoes for starters and I ordered a ham and pineapple pizza for chrissakes."
I knew it was Defcon level 1 if she was ordering ham and pineapple pizza. I mean she hates it when people mess with cacio e pepe. She's not a food snob, she is one of the most down to earth people I know. But it's probably like when people mess with Fairy Bread or other Australian foods that we get our back up. Sometimes we defend it when people mess with our food and sometimes we have Defcon level 1 food that goes against everything we stand for.
I asked her how it tasted. "It was bad but I knew it was going to be bad," she answered before adding, "It was just what I needed."
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your Defcon level 1 food like the food that you eat when you are in crisis mode? Mine is a bag of XXTRA Flamin' Hot Cheetos that burns my tongue and makes me feel alive again. Have you ever tried panzerotti?