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pazarotti cheese fritters
Panzarotti (Savory cheese-filled fritters using Parmesan cheese and mozzarella)
Originated from: Puglia and Campania
Occasion: Easter and other times
Contributed by: Adapted from an Italian cookbook published in the 1960s

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For dough
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt

For filling
3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 small eggs
1/4 cup salami or prosciutto, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (optional)

vegetable oil for deep frying


Mix the flour, vegetable oil, egg yolks, water and salt together.

Work into a malleable, firm dough, kneading for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Form into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile beat the eggs.

Make the filling, mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.

Using a cookie cutter cut out 3-inch rounds (Process a few at a time as the dough can easily dry out and when it does, it will be harder to fold over and seal into half moons.).

Put a little of the filling on each round and then fold over to form a half moon.

Seal with a fork.

Heat up the oil and deep fry a few at a time until golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towels.

Serve hot.


These savory cheese-filled fritters are easy to do. Many regions in Southern Italy make them -- the names differ, but not the ingredients (The cheeses used are generally a combination of Parmesan, Pecorino, mozzarella and/or ricotta). Sometimes parsley is added, and sometimes salami or prosciutto, but that's about it. Whether these fritters are round shaped or squared or crescent-shaped will make little difference -- either one likes savory cheese-stuffed fritters or one doesn't. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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