Panzerotti Pugliesi – Apulian Panzerotti

Panzerotti – Benoît Prieur – CC-BY-SA

Panzerotti Pugliesi – Apulian Panzerotti

Panzerotto or panzarotto is a rotisserie gastronomic specialty, a circle of stuffed pasta, closed on itself to form a crescent, typical of the regions of central-southern Italy, in particular Puglia, with PAT recognition.
The term “panzerotto” in some areas of Italy has indicated the calzone, which, however, is more extensive in its most common version. The panzerotto was born from the tradition of the poorest Apulian cuisine. These small crescents were cooked with cheese and tomatoes with the rest of the bread dough.
It is prepared with the same dough as the typical pizza, and according to the locality, it takes different names: in Naples, where it is also prevalent, it is called fried pizza, while the term calzone indicates the baked calzone and the name panzerotto is instead used to display simple large potato croquettes. In Sicily, they are known as fried calzone.


1 2/3 cups sifted flour
teaspoon salt
Six tablespoons butter, melted
One egg yolk
A little milk, as needed

1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, chopped
2 ounces prosciutto, cut in slivers
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Two eggs, beaten
One tablespoon chopped parsley
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Three eggs, topped with a bit of water
Fat for deep frying (half oil and half lard)

How to make the Panzerotti Pugliesi – Apulian Panzerotti:

Sift the flour with the salt onto a board in a mound, hollow out the center, and pour in the butter and egg yolk. Work the flour into the liquid with the fingers, adding a little milk from time to time, as needed, to make a smooth, well-blended, firm dough. Wrap it in a clean cloth and let it rest for half an hour. Then put the dough on a lightly floured board, roll it out, and fold it over on itself twice. Wrap it in the cloth again and let it rest while you prepare the filling. Put the chopped mozzarella, prosciutto, grated Parmesan cheese, and parsley in a bowl; season with the salt freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg. Add the eggs, and blend thoroughly. Divide the dough in half and roll out two sheets, each 1/8 inch thick. Brush one sheet with beaten egg and space tiny heaps of the filling on it 1 1/2 inches apart.

Brush the second sheet with beaten egg and lay it over the first sheet. Press the fingers on the dough all around the spots of filling. Then, with a pastry wheel, cut out squares containing a knob of filling. Press the edges of each square down again to make sure that none of the fillings escapes during the cooking. As you finish the panzerotti, line them up on a lightly floured cloth, ensuring they do not touch each other. Heat the fat in a deep fryer or skillet to 375 degrees. Dip the panzerotti into the beaten egg and drop them at once into the hot fat. Remove them with a slotted spoon after about 6 minutes. They should be crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and serve at once.

Serving suggestion: Serve the panzerotti on a bed of tomato sauce and garnish with fresh chopped parsley flakes and Parmesan cheese chips.

Source: Flavors of Apulia Nancy Harmon Jenkins Broadway Books.

It is a classic Italian panzerotti recipe with a ham and mozzarella cheese filling. Panzerotti is like giant Ravioli, except that they are deep-fried rather than boiled.

Pugliese cuisine is based on olive oil, one of the great products of the region. In any given year, Apulia produces as much as two-thirds of all the olive oil in Italy, and while much of it is shipped north, more of it stays right here to be used in Pugliese kitchens. As a result, cooks in Apulia even deep-fry with extra virgin oil, routine in many parts of the Mediterranean such as Sicily, Andalucia in southern Spain and Greece.

Serves 6

Panzerotti Pugliesi – Apulian Panzerotti is a Regional recipe from Apulia

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at