I lay in bed recently, having woken up about 6am due to the sunlight, thinking about the fact I'd not deep-fried anything for a while - as you do. Straight away my thoughts went to buffalo wings, the planned next installment of my fried chicken series that was long overdue. This thought stayed with me through the first couple of hours of the morning. I'd got so far as planning a quick 5.30pm supermarket trip for the wings, squeezing it in after work and before I hopped in the car and went to meet the missus for a climbing session, ready for some late night frying. I was pondering how to treat the wings, did I go with nothing but salt or would a light dusting of flour give the perfect texture, when a random tweet about pizzette fritte ripiene knocked any thoughts of buffalo wings for 6.
If you've not heard of them, and I hadn't, pizzette fritte ripiene are like little mini calzone, tiny folded parcels of pizza dough, sealed to hold their filling but then, and this is the fritte part, dumped in 190C oil until golden. Pizza already holds a very high place in my food-rankings and I've always said that deep frying improves everything so here was a chance to put it to the test.
Whilst these appear to be the exception that proves the rule (they equal pizza, but could you really improve it?) they are ridiculously tasty. I'd never fried a bread dough before (and the coating here is just plain white bread) and it takes on the most fantastic texture, a light crunch giving way to dense chew. It seems to soak up very little oil either, remaining remarkably grease-free once drained on kitchen roll. On the inside the mozzarealla melted as only mozzaralla does, the billowing folds striped with spicy oil rendered from the salami, the edge taken off the richness by the piquant artichokes. Add the sweet sauce and some salty parmesan and - and I know I'm repeating myself, but - ridiculously tasty.
Pizzette Fritte Ripiene
Makes 10, a snack for 2-3.
120gr strong flour
Big pinch salt
1/2 ts dried yeast
Filling (but you can use what you want)
50gr fiery salami
3 bits of marinated artichoke (this was basically a quarter)
The tomatoes from a tin
2 cloves of garlic
Pinch of fennel seeds
Parmesan to serve
Make the dough, knead till smooth. Leave in a bowl under clingfilm for an hour or two.
For the sauce soften the chopped garlic in a little oil, along with the fennel seeds. Add the tomatoes then simmer for about 30 mins, mashing them up as you go.
Roll the dough out to about 5mm thick and cut into ten pieces, you can go rough and ready but I used a chef's ring. You could cut into less and make bigger pizzettes too, obviously.
Place a tenth of each of the fillings in the middle of a piece and fold over, sealing well.
Deep fry at 190C till golden, drain well then place a teaspoon of sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan on each before eating.