Panzarotti, also spelled panzerotti, are are deep fried pockets of dough stuffed with a variety of fillings and are commonly found in southern Italy. Though typical in the south, I do remember an amazing store we used to frequent in Milan that was nestled just behind the Duomo that sold wonderful panzarotti as well. Folks would line up in the street before the store even opened to sample the delicious hot pockets of tastiness.

Though they look similar to a calzone in their half moon shape, they are usually much smaller, and are deep fried instead of baked. Because of their small size, the filling is commonly just mozzarella and tomatoes, or mozzarella and sauce, though they can also be flavored with anchovies. These tasty, crisp golden pillows are delicious anytime, but are great when entertaining and children love them.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2013


Yield: Serves 8 - 10

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hrs

Cook Time: 10 mins


1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
1 (14 Ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper To Taste

Basic Pizza Dough
or 1 (1 Pound) Ball Store Bought Dough
10 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, Diced
Salt And Pepper
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Finely Chopped
Canola Oil For Frying


Heat the oil in a small saucepan, then cook the garlic a minute or two until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper and cook until you have a thick sauce, about 10 minutes.
Take the dough after the first rising, and shape it into a long loaf, and divide it into 10 pieces and shape into balls.
Roll each of these balls into balls on a lightly floured surface into a 4 inch diameter circle.
Place a spoonful of tomato mixture on each circle, sprinkle with fresh basil, salt and pepper and cover with some of the mozzarella.
Lightly moisten the edges with water and pinch to seal.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan to 375 degrees F.
Fry in batches until golden brown, then drain well on paper towels and serve hot.


7 Responses to “Panzarotti”

  1. 1
    Adri — February 25, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    You had me at the part about fried dough! These really sound marvelous. Thanks!


  2. 2
    Carol L — February 27, 2013 @ 7:35 am

    Thank you for this recipe. They look and sound delicious.
    Carol L


  3. 3
    Joann@The Italian Next Door — February 27, 2013 @ 9:40 am

    Another simple and delicious looking recipe! Thanks!


  4. 4
    Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef — February 27, 2013 @ 10:58 am

    Is this fresh mozzarella or aged?


    Deborah Reply:

    Fresh mozzarella works, or simply use regular mozzarella. Not sure what aged mozzarella is?


  5. 5

    Deborah: The shape of these pockets filled with goodness remind me the Brazilian pastel or Spanish empanadas although panzarotti are made from pizza dough. Great idea! I’ll have to try this recipe.


  6. 6
    Barbara Wholey — March 8, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

    My italian grandmother who was born and raised in Sicily would come to visit my parents and my six siblings she would teach me how to make her bread dough which was very simple recipe made with cake yeast, remember that. But sometimes she would make these little pillows of dough stuffed with mozzorella cheese, deep fried and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. We loved them. My grandmother was quite a character and had quite a story of her own.


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