I cannot believe it’s Carnevale time already! Didn’t we celebrate Christmas just the other day?? Anyhow, today’s recipe had to be related to this amazing festivity, which also happens to be the one I like the most. I soooo miss Carnevale… back in Italy we all dress up in masks and go around playing tricks and having fun. It is our Halloween, if you would. During this time of the year we eat our good share of sweets, usually fried. I have already shared with you a couple of traditional sweets in the past: Chiacchiere and Tortelli di Carnevale. So, this time I decided to go with something savoury… though it is always fried (sorry guys, but we can’t mess with traditions… after all, Manu’s Menu is all about keeping traditions alive!). These panzerotti are slightly different than the ones from my previous recipe and are filled with mince and mozzarella. They are traditionally (yes, again!) eaten for Carnevale in the Apulian town of Bari, so this is also this week’s recipe for my Regional Italian cuisine series for the region of… Puglia! Enjoy and Buon Carnevale everyone!
Meat filled Apulian Panzerotti
Meat filled Apulian Panzerotti, a traditional Italian dish to celebrate Carnevale!
- 225 gms – 8 oz. ground beef
- 225 gms – 8 oz. ground pork
- ½ onion chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50 ml – 1.7 oz. white wine
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 125 gms – 4.5 oz. mozzarella I use bocconcini, chopped
- 8 tbsp Pecorino Romano finely grated
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 500 gms - 1.1 lbs. flour
- 250 ml – 8.5 oz. milk lukewarm (+ 2 or 3 tbsp)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 7 gms – ¼ oz. dry yeast
Sauté the chopped onion with the extra virgin olive oil, until golden and soft.
Add the ground beef and pork and mix well breaking up all the lumps with a wooden spoon. Brown the meat on a medium to high flame, then add the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for a few minutes, until all the liquid has evaporated. Keep it aside to cool down.
When cool, add the beaten egg, the grated Pecorino Romano and the pinch of nutmeg. Mix well and keep aside.
To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk, add the sugar, mix well and keep it aside until frothy.
Put all the remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a hook attachment.
When the yeast mixture is frothy, add it to the bowl. Knead well for a few minutes until you get a smooth and pliable dough (you may need to add a couple of tbsp of milk at this stage, depending on how your flour absorbs the liquid. The final dough has to resemble pizza/bread dough in consistency).
When ready, make it into a ball, dust it with flour and keep it in a warm place until it doubles in size.
How to assemble panzerotti
Take the risen dough and divide it into 10 smaller balls.
Flatten them with a rolling pin into 0.5 cm – 0.2 inch thick circles.
Put a heaped tablespoon of filling in the middle of each circle and top it with some chopped mozzarella.
Deep fry in hot vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides. Put them on a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil and serve warm.