* Exclusive Photos of Panzarotti *
Okay, this has nothing to do with celebrity paparazzi, but it kind of sounds like panzarotti. Panza-wuht?? I had no idea what this was until I moved to Chicago in 1986 and had my first panzarotti (or panzerotti in Italy) from D'Agostino's [website] at Addison and Southport. Panzarotti are very similar to a calzone's ingredients and preparation, except a calzone is baked in an oven. Panzarotti are deep fried in oil which gives the dough a deliciously crispy texture and taste similar to an empanada, doughnut or a funnel cake. Here's my attempt at a Chicago-style panzarotti. I will be stuffing it with Italian meatballs rather than the classic pepperoni, sausage, onion and green pepper. Unfortunately, these can't be prepared as a spur of the moment or as late nite munchie.
But for all you Windy City expatriots who are craving a panzarotti in that barren wasteland of non-Chicago food choices you have, consider investing some time to make these for a special occasion:
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1. Dough. About 8 oz. of fresh pizza dough to be more precise.
2. Marinara. Prepared using Escalon 6-in-1 ground tomatoes as the base.
3. Sliced Italian meatballs. Mama Dispirito's recipe. Best meatballs ever. Beef, pork, veal, garlic, onion, fresh parsley, love - delicious!
4. Part-skim Mozzarella Cheese
6. Fold dough in half over the filling ingredients. Firmly press dough together around the edges to form a pocket.
7. Trim excess dough (optional)
8. Roll and pinch edges together to ensure a tight seal. You don't want any filling to leak out or oil seeping into the dough pocket during cooking.
9. Vegetable oil heated to 360 degrees in a deep pot. Panzarotti should float on top of hot oil. If it doesn't, then either your oil is not hot enough or your oil is not deep enough.
10. Cook for about 3 minutes. Check for golden brown underside and then flip it.
Cook for about another 3 or 4 minutes. Check for golden browness and then carefully remove from oil and set on paper towel to cool slightly.
12. Shake of grated parmesan. You can also serve with a side of marinara for dipping the crusty, crispy edge pieces, however I find that the marinara filling is more than adequate. This is far from dry and bready once you cut into it.
13. Enjoy and behold all of the flaky, crispy, golden brown, deep fried goodness that is the Panzarotti.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you want any of the recipes mentioned in this post and I'll send you the very latest version. I refine my favorite recipes all the time and so I'd rather not publish them and then worry about having to update them as changes are made. Until next time...