Panzerotti. From Bari. These are one of the most famous and popular dishes from Bari. They are deep fried pockets of dough stuffed with a variety of fillings. Two of the most common are mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and oregano and ricotta forte (also called skuanda), cherry tomatoes, onion and anchovies. Ricotta forte is a bit of a “Marmite” ingredient. By that I mean it is very strongly flavoured and you either love it or hate it. I am in the first camp, lovely stuff. Rather than cherry tomatoes, “appesi” are more traditional. These are small tomatoes which are picked when still not completely ripe and hung up for later consumption. As these are hard to find, you can use any type. I went to a party here and a lady was employed just to make panzerotti all evening. The last round was filled with Nutella! The size of the panzerotti varies, but I made 12 with this recipe.
For the pastry
- 500 g 00 flour
- 100 ml tepid milk
- 1 cube of fresh yeast
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 10 g salt
Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the milk to the flour, oil and salt along with enough tepid water to make a smooth dough.
Oil the dough, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for up to 2 hours.
Separate the dough into 12 portions and roll into small balls. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for a further half an hour.
Take one ball of dough and roll it into a large disc. Place a large tablespoon of filling in the middle of each one. Fold the dough over to form a half moon shape. Press down well and try to exclude as much air as possible. Either fold over and crimp the edges or cut off the excess pastry with a pasty wheel and seal the edges with a fork.
Deep fry the panzerotti until they are lightly golden. Some people use extra virgin olive oil and some people use regular vegetable oil. You can also bake them in an oven at 200 °C for 15 minutes, but the result is quite different.
- 200 g mozzarella
- 300 g cherry tomatoes
- Chop and drain the tomatoes. Cube the mozzarella. Mix together with a generous amount of mozzarella.
- 50 g ricotta forte
- 100 g cherry tomatoes
- 50 g onions
- An anchovy
- Salt and pepper.
- Fry the onion in some oil, bone and chop anchovy. Spread each disc of dough with ricotta forte. Add a piece of tomato, some onion and a piece of anchovy. Salt and pepper to taste.
- 100 g ricotta forte
- 20 g grated pecorino romano
- 2 cherry tomatoes for each panzerotto
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- Mix together the ricotta forte and the pecorino. Some people like to add an egg yolk to the mixture. Place a tablespoon of the filling and 2 chopped tomatoes in each panzerotto.
- Radicchio and gorgonzola.
- Fried minced pork mixed with parmsan and mozzarella. This is traditional on shrove Tuesday.
And of course the very untraditional but popular with children young and old:-