Like most LDS returned missionaries I have lots of memories and stories I like to tell. This is especially annoying to Beth. For some reason she hates having to listen to the same stories over and over again. I'm not exactly sure why. Anyway, having served in Italy most of those memories have to do with food. Lots and lots of food.
Now, there aren't a lot of fried foods, in my experience, in Italian cuisine but for some reason the few things they do fry are among my favorite. Cannoli and Arancini initially come to mind (and they're both Sicilian delights). But my other favorite fried food is called Panzerotti. I can still taste the ones we would get in Bari. *Drool* Without getting too technical they are basically fried Calzones.
- 1 l. Oil (whatever you prefer using for frying foods. I used Canola oil)
- Tomato Sauce (you can make it from scratch or buy it in a can)
- Mozzarella cheese
- Salame or ham (I prefer salame)
So in a nostalgic mood, as I often find myself in, I decided to whip some up myself for Dinner this past week. When I made mention of this on Facebook a few people asked for a recipe, so, here it is.
First, here's what you'll need:
- 1 1/4 c. warm water
- 1 Tbl. honey
- 3 Tbl. olive oil
- 4 c. flour
- 2 pkg. yeast
- 2 t. salt
Because the dough needs to rise a little we'll start off with the dough.
First, combine water, honey, oil and salt.
Then, combine 3 cups flour and yeast. Add to liquid.
After that, mix until smooth, add 1 cup flour to soft dough. Knead.
Finally, Place in an oiled bowl and let sit for about 30 mins.
While you're waiting for the dough to rise you can start preparing the filling.
Now would be a good time to get the oil on the stove and warming up. I don't have an exact temperature that you need to have the oil at but make sure that it isn't too hot. If it's too hot the outside will cook and the inside won't and you'll be left with a doughy panzerotto. A medium temperature is a pretty good bet.
Once the oil is on the stove you can cut the cheese.
Cut it into little squares or balls. It will help it melt better.
Warm up or make the tomato sauce. I'll leave that part up to your imagination because it's not that hard and up to your preference.
When the dough is done rising, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is pretty thin. Not too thin that the walls will break but thin enough that it will fry all the way through.
Cut little circles out of the dough. I used a pizza cutter and a cereal bowl as a template.
Put some sauce on the circle in the middle. Staying away from the edges. Then, put in the fillings. As little or as much cheese as you'd like followed by the salame or ham. You don't need either if you don't want.
Then, dip your finger in some water and wet the outside edge of the circle before folding it over on top of itself. Use a fork to seal all the edges. **A GOOD SEAL IS IMPORTANT** You don't want all of the goodness inside leaking into the hot oil.
Now place the panzerotti one at a time into the oil. If the oil is at the right temperature it should take a minute or so. Too quick and the insides won't heat up. If this happens lower the temperature for the next one and try again.
You'll know it's done when you get a nice golden brown outside just like in the picture.
Now take a bite and let all of the memories flood back in. It will be like you've transported yourself back to Italy.
*WARNING* If you've never been to Italy and can't afford to don't make this recipe. One bite and you'll be taken over by an incredible desire for more and you won't stop until it's satiated. *WARNING*
Well, I hope you enjoy that as much as I enjoyed eating them. Arrivederci! e Buon Appetito!