Street food par excellence, created in Southern Italy and exported all over the world, Panzerotti basically is pizza dough filled with all kinds of mouthwatering ingredients, from the basic tomato and mozzarella to the more original eggplant parmigiana, or sauteed kale and provolone or red onions and anchovies, or whatever your fantasy suggests. They are easy to bring along for a snack at the beach or for a break at work; best eaten warm they are still delicious when consumed at room temperature.
They belong to the larger family of savory pies, from the Hispanic Empanadas to the Asian Samosa passing by more variations like the Dutch chicken Pastei or the English Meat Pies, just to name a few. One of the big differences is that traditionally all those pies are filled with meat as the main ingredient, while Panzerotti are truly vegetarian, with each home cook deciding its own secret recipe for the filling.
Not to be confused with Calzone, a similar preparation but larger in size, always cooked in the oven and eaten with fork and knife. Panzerotti are generally fried in olive oil, the dough is thinner, and they are made to be savored bite by bite; they could be cooked in the oven as well, but then it would be hard to see and taste the difference with the Calzone!
I noticed that using the basic pizza dough resulted in a Panzerotto that becomes a bit chewy when cooling down. So, I experimented and opted for a dough recipe similar to the Focaccia pugliese dough: nothing more natural when you think that in Puglia the panzerotti are very popular. So instead of using only flour, oil, water and yeast, I also mixed a riced potato in the dough, and I use the cooking water of the potato (rich in amid) for the dough as well. The result is excellent, with a dough slightly more flaky.
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For 4 Servings
1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)