Panzerotti, a tiny version of a closed pizza or calzone, like and English pasties in size
originated in southern and central Italy. The dough is softer than that for a calzone
and can be made with, or without yeast. The fillings can be whatever you like or have at
hand when you make them. The usual fillings are tomato, mozzarella or feta cheese,
meats such as ham and chicken, vegetables such as spinach, onions, mushrooms, baby corn,
and a variety of fresh herbs and spices.
One popular savory filling is made by frying onions, garlic, salted anchovies and capers in olive oil, often with a little bread and seasoning added. The pockets of dough are filled with various fillings, sealed, seasoned and then deep-fried of baked. The panzerotti expands when cooked and puffs up.
Panzerotti have similar uses to Turkish and Lebanese
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup of luke warm water. Add the salt to a separate 1/2 cup of warm water. Sift the two flours together in a large bowl. Add the salt water and yeast mixture to the flour in a large bowl and combine well until the mixture turns to a soft ball. The add the olive oil and mix well. Transfer the dough to lightly floured board or kitchen bench and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, silky and elastic.
Divide the dough into about 20 balls and place them well separated onto 2 or three baking trays. Cover the trays with plastic wrap or a towel and set aside to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours for the balls to double in size. Gently press each ball flat to a 12 cm (5 inch) circle, like mini pizzas bases, retaining the air in the dough. Place a some slices of tomato, mozzarella, basil leaf and other filling ingredients into the center of the circle. Season to taste and then brush the edges with a little water. Fold each one over to form a half moon shape. Press the edges together and crimp with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and filling
To cook heat the high smoke point oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan to a temperature of 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Place a one or two panzerotti into the oil in batches and fry for about 2 - 3 minutes on each side, until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately when all panzerotti are cooked.
Cube the mozzarella. Cut the tomatoes into cubes and drain. Combine with the together mozzarella.
Add some oil to a heavy pan and fry the onions until soft and transparent. Add the chopped anchovies and combine well. Spread a small amount of this mixture on each disc of dough and add the ricotta forte. Top with a slice of tomato, some onion rings and a slice of anchovy. Add salt and pepper to taste and fold over and seal.
Combine the pecorino and ricotta forte and add an egg yolk if desired. Spread a tablespoon of the filling onto each panzerotti and top with chopped tomatoes, herbs and freshly ground pepper.