Panzerotti (mini calzone pizza with tuna, olives & red pepper)
Tiny pizza pockets, filled with tuna, capers, olives and more. They're the most delicious mini calzone pizza - perfect finger food and packed with flavour and texture. Learn how to make this Italian fried pizza with my simple recipe.
On a BBQ or under a hot broiler or grill, roast the red pepper until it's charred on all sides. Remove and place into a plastic bag for 2-3 minutes.Peel off the skin and remove the stem and seeds and discard.Chop the pepper into small pieces and add to a large bowl.
Drain then flake the tuna fillets into the bowl along with all the other filling ingredients. Stir well, cover and refrigerate until needed.
To make the panzerotti dough
Combine the yeast, flour and olive oil and begin to add the water, stirring with your hand. Once halfway through, add the salt and then the remaining water.Bring the dough into a whole ball then place on the work surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Using a large plastic container, drizzle about 2tbsp oil inside and spread around to coat all the sides and base with oil. Pop the dough ball into the centre then cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Leave the dough somewhere warm (not hot) for 1 hour. After an hour the dough should have doubled in size.Gently tip the dough onto a floured work surface and cut it in half. Cut each half into 4 pieces, then cut each of those pieces into 3 pieces. Repeat with all the dough and you should end up with 24 dough balls.
Making the panzerotti
Using a rolling pin, roll a ball into a disc around 3"/9cm
Take a heaped teaspoon of the filling and place it in the centre. Use a little water on your finger to wet the edge of half of the dough, then lift up the dough and fold in half to form a semi-circle.
From the end, press firmly and create little twists inwards to press and seal the edges, you'll end up with a little rope effect (see pics above) - like a cornish pasty.
Repeat using all the dough - you should have enough filling to complete all 24. However, if you run out of filling (and you have it), add a little tomato, ham and mozzarella as a sneaky second filling!
Frying the panzerotti
Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan until hot, around 350-375ºF/175-190ºC)Carefully add around 4 panzerotti into the oil. They will puff up and become difficult to turn, so using a large spoon, carefully splash the surface of the panzerotti as they cook. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels as you repeat the process for all the panzerotti.
Serve hot with a small bowl of tomato polpa/pasatta as a dipping sauce for each mini pizza pocket.
Store bought pizza dough
Using pre-made pizza dough is perfectly acceptable for panzerotti. Not everyone has the time or skills to make a dough and that’s fine. Buy around 400g of dough for this recipe.
If deep frying isn’t appealing to you then you can bake them too. Arrange them on a paper lined baking sheet. Brush or spray with a little oil and then a little beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC/400ºF for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Freezing panzerotti (uncooked)
Panzerotti are a good contender for freezing. To get the best stick-free results, lay the uncooked panzerotti on a paper-lined baking tray in a single layer (without touching) and freeze. Once solid, tip them into a bag and pop back into the freezer. They shouldn’t stick. To cook from frozen, follow the same methods as unfrozen and add 1-2 minutes on the cooking time.
In the unlikely event of leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for 4-5 days. Eat cold or warmed in the even for 5 minutes.
Experimenting with fillings
My seafood stuffing is a inspired by some I ate in Naples, but traditionally panzerotti are stuffed with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. But there are no hard and fast rules! Whatever YOU enjoy on top of a regular pizza can most likely be stuffed into a panzerotto, so just go for it!