1. Sift the flour though a tami or a sieve into a large bowl. Add the salt. While continuously stirring with a whisk, slowly pour the hot water into the flour mixture. Whisk until a smooth, liquid batter forms. 01:36
2. Transfer the flour-water mixture to a large saucepot. Whisk over high heat for five to six minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Lower the heat once the mixture begins to boil. The dough is almost done cooking when the whisk begins leaving indentations in the batter and clings onto the whisk. 01:44
3. Add the chopped parsley and whisk to combine. Continue whisking vigorously as the batter thickens. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pot, whisk for a minute or two longer then remove the pot from the heat completely. 03:23
4. Using a rubber spatula, pour the panelle dough onto a silpat or a cold, smooth work surface. Smooth the batter with either a trowel or an offset spatula until it is one even layer, about 1/8 inch thick. Work speedily, as the panelle sets up quickly. Allow the batter to cool for about 10 minutes, or until it is room temperature. 04:37
5. Remove the silpat from the tray with the batter attached. Using a standard pasta cutter, slice uniform pieces to the desired shape and size. Prepare either a deep fryer or a deep pot. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. 05:59
6. Carefully drop the pieces of panelle into the oil, one by one. When the pieces begin to float to the top, lightly shake the frying basket or use a spider strainer to ensure they do not stick to each other. Fry for three to four minutes. When they become light brown and stop sizzling, they are done cooking. The panelle should be crisp on the outside, and light and airy in the center. 07:34
7. Line a baking tray with several layers of paper towels. Put the freshly fried panelle onto the towels. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Finish with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. Top with cheese, if desired. 08:59
What You'll Need
- Tami sifter or sieve
- Large bowl
- Large saucepot
- Baking tray
- Rubber spatula
- Carpenter’s trowel or offset spatula
- Pasta cutter
- Deep-fryer or deep pot with oil
- Spider strainer
- Tray lined with paper towels
- Chickpea flour (2 cups)
- Kosher salt (1 tablespoon)
- Hot water (3 cups)
- Flat leaf parsley, chopped (2 tablespoons)
- Lemon (1, halved)
- Oil (for frying)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Ragusano cheese (optional)
Panelle is the Italian term for chickpea fritters.
Chickpea flour is made form dried, ground chickpeas. For this recipe, thr flour should be very finely ground. Chickpea flour is available in most grocery stores.
Not cooking the panelle batter for long enough can lead to an undesirable, uncooked chickpea flavor in the final product. Chef Steve recommends cooking for three additional minutes, even when you think the cooking process is complete. When you are sure it is done, cook for two more minutes.
Panelle batter can be prepared a day in advance and fried the next day.
Chef Steve recommends serving the panelle as an antipasto, or appetizer. He also suggests pairing them with an Italian sparkling white wine.
Ragusano is a hard cow’s milk cheese. It is made exclusively in Rausa and Siracusa, Sicily. It has a slightly sweet and spicy flavor. If Ragusano is unavailable, Parmigiano Reggiano is a suitable substitute in this dish.