Tonight Marco suggested something I don’t like to make very often, Panzarotti. It’s not that I don’t like it, its just that it’s fried, so I only really make it for special occasions. I had never heard of it until I went to to Italy this year. It is quite a popular snack over there, so I’m surprise with all the Italian restaurants I’ve never seen it here.
Panzarotti is actually from the region of Puglia, the heel of Italy, but it is also make in Calabria (where my family is from) and Sicilia. While I was living in Milano, we discovered shop called Luini, just behind the main street, near the big Duomo. They make Panzarotti, with all different fillings, sweet and savoury, baked and fried. They don’t have many vegan or dairy free options, so I always got the Tomato, Olive and Onion Fried Panzarotti. Marco’s favourite was Prosciutto and Cheese or Spinach and Ricotta. For only a few euro’s it was a great snack. Plus it is write next door to CioccolatItaliani, one of the only cafe’s in Milano that will do a Soy Cappuccino. The only other place is Juice Bar. Otherwise prepared to get laughed at if you ask “Prendo un cappuccino di soya”.
Anyway, so after telling my family in Milano how I had discovered this wonderful Panzarotti, they taught me how to make it. It’s actually quite easy to make. Its just mini calzone that is deep fried in olive oil. Since I couldn’t
have cheese, they made me tuna and potato or spinach and anchovies I have made it a couple of few times since I’ve been back. But mine doesn’t look like theirs. It tastes just as good, but the dough gets these kind of bubbles on the outside. It maybe the quality of the oil or the type of flour.
Tonight I said to Marco the only way I was making it, is if we baked it. Reluctantly he agreed, since we both know the fried is better then the baked. We tried a baked one at Luini one did and it just wasn’t as good. Perhaps thats because we had experienced it fried. Anyway tonight it actually turned out really good. I use tipo 00 flour, so I think that make the dough a lot more lighter when it was cooked. I told Marco so long as we are baking it from now on I will definitely make it once a week.
I didn’t have many ingredients to work with, so I made ham & tomato and tuna & potato for Marco and these vegan ones for me. I was really excited when I saw the Cavolo nero at the shops the other day, so I used that in mine. But really you can put anything in them. Just don’t be too tight on the ingredients, so long as it can close its fine. Cavolo nero is an italian cabbage or black kale. Its got plenty of lutein, vitamins K, A and C, manganese, copper, fibre, calcium, iron, the B vitamins and more vitamins. Its doesn’t have a strong taste and it is versatile. You can use it in a stirfry, a pasta dish or even a pizza.
Panzarotti is a great treat to make with friends or for a lazy night infront of the tv. After making them tonight I do really recommend baking them. They are really crispy and have the great fresh pizza taste.
Baked Panzarotti (sf, nf)
Basic Pizza Dough- 3 cups Italian Tipo 00, 1 tsp dry yeast, 1 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp salt, 1 pinch raw sugar, 1 tbp olive oil & more for brushing
Filling Ingredients- 380g jar passata sauce, 2 onions sliced, 1/2 bunch of cavolo nero (tuscan cabbage)
First prepare the dough
1. Take a large bowl & brush with oil.
2. Take a bowl and add warm water and yeast. Put some plastic wrap over the bowl and leave it to sit for 5 mins.
3. Add flour salt and sugar to the large bowl and mix it through.
5. Place dough on board and knead for 10 mins.
6. Place dough in a large bowl, place somewhere warm and leave for 1 1/2-2 hours to rise.
2. Heat olive oil in large pan and cook onions for 10 mins, till soft.
3. Heat olive oil in large pan and cook cavolo nero for 3mins.
4. Separate dough into 12 balls.
5. On a floury board roll dough ball out with rolling pin.
6. In the centre of rolled out dough add 1 tbsp of sauce, capsicum, cavolo nero & onion (don’t fill them too much).
7. Fold into a half moon and close the edges with a fork.
8. Repeat with the rest and brush tops with olive oil.