My father grew up in Italy and the one and most important piece of his life that he and his family brought to America was the tradition of Italian cooking. This traditional Italian recipe has been passed down from generation to generation. My father grew up making panzerotti with his mother and father in Italy, and I grew up making them with him. This is a recipe that everyone looks forward to eating, and leaves everyone full by the time they're done eating it. It is my grandmother's recipe that I think everyone should have the chance to enjoy.
The following recipe will make 20—25 Panzerotti.
- 1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled plum tomatoes
- 3 loaves white bread dough
- Canola oil
- Open the can of tomatoes. Take each whole tomato and shred into small pieces in a bowl.
- Put the whole bag of cheese into a bowl, side by side with the tomatoes.
- Take the three loaves of dough, and cut them into approximately 1-inch pieces.
- Prep the surface by taking a pinchful of flour and sprinkling around to prevent dough from sticking. One pinchful will not do the job. Keep repeating until surface has enough. Any surface that dough will be placed on should be sprinkled with flour.
- Take one of the cut pieces of dough, put a small amount of flour on each side and flatten it with your hands. This will also remove any air bubbles from the dough. Apply small amounts of flour, as needed, to help keep the dough from sticking.
- Once the piece of dough is flattened, roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is in a circular shape. You want to roll the dough as much as you can so you have room to put the ingredients in. However, do not roll the dough too thin to prevent it from breaking.
- Take 1 spoonful of the shredded tomatoes and place in the middle of the dough.
- You want to be sure to drain the juice before placing the tomatoes onto the dough to prevent making it too moist.
- Take 1 pinchful of the shredded mozzarella and place on top of the tomatoes.
- Fold one edge over to the other and pinch with your fingertips. This will help the dough stay closed while frying.
- Take a pizza cutter, and cut a line in the middle of where you pinched the dough with your fingertips. Place the extra dough in a pile off to the side to later use for extra panzerotti when you are done!
- As you make each one, you want to place the uncooked panzerotti on a well-floured surface.
- For each 1-inch piece of dough that you have left, repeat steps 6–11. For the extra dough, repeat steps 3–11.
- Time for the cooking! Take out large cooking pan.
- Fill about one-quarter of the way with canola oil.
- Place a large plate next to the stove, covering it with paper towels. The paper towels will soak up any extra grease.
- Turn on the burner to medium-high.
- Once you start frying each panzerotti, the temperature will get hotter and hotter; after the first few are cooked, you’ll need to adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Before placing each panzerotti in the frying pan, brush off any excess flour to prevent the color of the panzerotti from becoming darker than it needs to be. You also want to make sure that each panzerotti is closed so none of the ingredients fall out.
- One by one, place each panzerotti into the frying pan. Use tongs to flip it over until each side is a golden brown.
- Once it has turned golden brown, place onto the plate beside you.
- After frying each panzerotti, now is time to serve and enjoy!