It’s very difficult to try to figure out when panzerotto dates back to; there are a lot of cities which claim that they were the first to create this famous and appreciated Apulian prelibacy in Italy. According to some, the panzerotto was first made in Bari around the 16th century, alongside the spread of tomato sauce in Italy. Homemakers used to prepare panzerottos with bread dough leftovers. They were folded mini pizzas and on the inside there used to be tomatoes and pieces of cheese. It was a simple dish for those who couldn’t afford better food.
Ever since, the panzerotto has become a prelibacy in the Apulian cuisine and it’s also really appreciated by tourists who come to Apulia to discover its beauty and flavours.
The original recipe says that we must fry them in extra-virgin olive oil but there is a healthier recipe which suggests baking.
The ingredients are: farina, oil, yeast, water and salt for the mixture; diced mozzarella and tomato sauce are used as classic filling.
There are two amongst all variants which are tipical of Apulia: one is panzerotto with ground beef which is very common in Bari, while the other one is with stewed turnip greens. Some love it with with spicy ricotta, which is an Apulian kind of cheese with a pungent flavour added to mozzarella.
Ambassador of Apulia: Panzerotto
Even if there are several variants, the Apulian panzerotto, along with the Neapolitan one, is the most known and is called ambassador of Apulia around the world. Its easy recipe is handed down from generation to generation and hasn’t changed over time. Everyone has their secret way of making it.
For instance, there are some people who say that we must use more water in the mixture for a good panzerotto, others leave the dough to rise twice, and there are also some who fold them with their toes instead of using the fork or the pasta bowl. There is no family in Apulia who doesn’t know how to prepare them.