My Italian Love Affair with Panzerotti
About two years ago I fell in love (and no I’m not referring to meeting my husband right now). As soon as I first bit into a delicious panzerotto there was no turning back. Since that day my life has been changed with this wonderful little salty treat.
Panzerotti are the most delicious deep fried mini calzone type yummy-ness. Imagine pizza dough with just a little tomato sauce and fresh milky mozzarella, the kind you can only find in Italy. These two ingredients are lovingly folded inside the dough, then it’s deep fried, creating a crunchy delicious little pocket filled with gooey, stringy, decadent mozzarella. To say the least they are amazing!
Panzerotti come from the southern region of Puglia and can be found there in almost every bar and pizzeria, and cost between 1-3 Euros. You can also find them throughout the rest of the country, however, they are a bit more difficult to stumble upon and generally cost slightly more and are rarely the same quality.
Puglia is where my in-laws live, and where I met my husband. It is a region full of farm land and olive groves. The food is always fresh and it is common to only eat locally grown products. I remember being mesmerized as my father in-law showed me their land. We walked through the olive trees from which their olive oil is made (as well as ours because we are lucky enough to get shipped the oil from them on a regular basis), and then wandered into an orange grove where different citrus trees created the most wonderful aroma. The land is beautiful and the sun always seems to be shining. My in-laws also grow pomegranates, tomatoes, artichokes, and many other fruits and vegetables, as well as having chickens for fresh eggs. Every season at their home is a treat. I’ve tasted fruits and vegetables that I never knew existed and have become used to the fresh organic taste of Pugliese food.
When I first arrived in Puglia, I was shocked by how much food was consumed at lunch. They say Americans eat a lot…..false. We may eat poorly and have ridiculous proportions. However, I have never sat at a table so abundantly full of food as is often (almost every lunch) done in Puglia. Food is not a necessity for life, it is a way of life. You don’t eat because you’re hungry but because Nonna has made you something delicious and you will love it. Eating is a way to enjoy life, to spend time with friends and family, and a time to take a break from work and relax.
A few months back I got the pleasure of spending an evening with my mother-in-law back at their southern home and learning how to make panzerotti. Below I’ve shared the recipe. That way, regardless of where you are in the world you can try my favorite food.
Panzerotti Fritti (Fried Panzerotti) Recipe:
Serves: This recipe makes about 25 panzerotti, so it feeds at least 10 people (because of course in Italy you’d make enough for the entire extended family)
Prep time: takes a couple hours (trust me, it is worth it!)
1 Kg (this is about a bag of flour) all purpose flour
1 Cup of milk
2 generous pinches of salt
A yeast packet
2.5 cups of water
1 Kg of mozzarella
A large jar of tomatoe sauce
Step 1: Put the flour in a bowl and create a crater where you now mix the milk and yeast together.
Step 2: Add water and salt, and mix until it into a dough (basic pizza dough)
Step 3: let the dough rise for a half hour.
Step 4: while the dough rises, slice the mozzarella into small cubes and mix with the tomatoe sauce.
Step 5: after a have hour, separate the dough into a large golf ball/small tennis ball size servings (here it makes roughly 25)
Step 6: use a rolling pin to roll the dough flat (like a mini pizza)
Step 7: place a spoonful of the mozzeralla and tomatoe mixture in the middle of the dough.
Step 8: Fold the dough in half closing the mozzerella inside. Pinche the edges tight, first with your fingers and then with a fork. This way nothing will leak out while they are being fried.
Step 9: fry them in boiling oil until the dough becomes a darker shade of brown.
Step 10: Enjoy the most delicious food ever!
Thanks for reading! Let us know if you try and make panzerotti, and how it goes! Send us pictures and tag us on instagram @theitalianizedblonde
P.S. I love Panzerotti so much that they were the only food I requested to have at our wedding 😉