These fried savory turnovers are a Puglian classic. Stuffed and deep-fried, these pizza pockets are a special twist on the traditional Italian panzerotti.
Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or even a quick light dinner, these deep-fried breakfast pockets of egg, ham, and cheese are a special twist on the classic Apulian panzerotto.
What are Panzerotti?
Panzerotti, plural for panzerotto is a savory turnover from the Central and Southern regions of Italy. It is especially popular in Apulian or Puglian culture. Panzerotti are quite similar to calzone but are fried instead of being baked. Traditionally, panzerotti contains tomato sauce inside as opposed to calzone which is served with sauce on the side. Being smaller cousins to the larger calzone, they’re often also referred to as pizze fritte (fried pizzas) or calzoni fritti (fried calzones).
Originating somewhere in 16th-century, panzerotti was the common man’s food. Leftover dough was used stuffed with tomatoes and cheese and closed into a semi-circular shape. Over time, these pocket-shaped handheld turnovers became a perfect to-go snack that can be eaten at any time of the day.
What is the traditional panzerotti recipe?
Most traditional panzerotti recipes are handed down from generation to generation in Southern Italian families, with many of them creating versions based on their preferences.
Traditionally most of them are made with a filling of drained tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Depending on the region, other fillings such as other varieties of cheese, sausages, capers, anchovies, or onions sauteed in olive oil may also be added.
For a unique twist on this traditional Italian fried dough classic, instead of the regular tomatoes and cheese, I’ve used a filling of ham, cheese, and eggs in the breakfast pockets.
It’s absolutely the perfect dish for breakfast or a quick snack for the kid!
Recipe Pointers For Italian Panzerotti Breakfast Pockets Recipe
- These pockets are made specifically for breakfast or brunch, but if you want to have them for lunch or a snack, then simply replace the egg with tomato sauce (original panzerotti contains tomato sauce).
- If you don’t like fried food you can make it healthier by baking them for 12 minutes, but it won’t be a panzerotti and won’t taste exactly the same.
- If baking the panzerotti, put some egg white on top – otherwise, the dough will be too dry.
- You can add some crushed pepper to the filling to make it spicier.
- If you do not like ham, use pre-boiled boneless chicken pieces instead.
- If you’re vegetarian, replace the ham and eggs with boiled sweet corn and onions.
- Be careful while taking the first bite of the panzerotti when it’s just made. Deep frying causes a pocket of air to form inside and this needs to be released before digging in!
FAQs about Panzerotti breakfast pockets
Panzerotti is derived from the Italian word pancia meaning belly. This is because traditional panzerotti are semi-circular in shape and resemble a full belly.
Panzerotti are fried, while calzone is baked, but essentially – it’s the same thing. This is why panzerotti are often called calzoni fritti.
If you don’t like fried food you can bake the panzerotti for 12 minutes. But it won’t really be a panzerotti and won’t taste the same way.
It’s just like falafel – you can’t really bake good falafel.
If baking, put some egg white on top – otherwise the dough will be too dry.
A panzerotti is a deep-fried version of a calzone, while a stromboli is a baked cylindrical-shaped turnover.
Strombolis are usually filled with cheese, veggies and meats such as salami, capicola, or bresaola without the tomato sauce.
Panzerottis are originals. Pizza pockets on the other hand are commercialized fast food versions of panzerottis.
Yes, sweet panzerotti are a delightful treat too. Use any of these fillings:
– ricotta cheese and honey,
– nutella and sliced bananas,
– ricotta cheese and raspberries.
- 5 eggs, divided
- 1/3 cup milk
- 6 slices breakfast/deli ham, diced
- Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 (16 oz) Pizza Dough
- 1 tbsp cold water
- Over medium heat in a sprayed saute pan combine 5 eggs, milk, ham, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Scramble and cook until the eggs are done.
- On a baking sheet roll out the pizza dough so that 2 triangles are together to make a rectangle. You should make 8 rectangles.
- Spoon scrambled egg/ham mixture onto each rectangle.
- Add shredded cheese and fold the dough over sealing the edges using water and press down with the edge of a fork.
- Deep-fry for 7 minutes until golden brown.
- These are madespecifically for breakfast or brunch, but if you want them for lunch or a snack then simply swap the egg with tomato sauce (original panzerotti has tomato sauce).
- If you don’t like fried food you can make it healthier by baking them for 12 minutes. But it won’t be a panzerotti and won’t taste the same way.
- If baking put some egg white on top – otherwise the dough will be too dry.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 483mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 12g