Panelle di Fabrizia
Fabrizia is happy to share the secrets of her panelle, perhaps because she knows that hers will always be the most delicious. The procedure may sound bizarre or difficult, but I assure you it is neither.
Serves 6-8 as an antipasti
cold water 1 litre chickpea flour 300g olive oil for frying salt big pinch lemon wedges to serve Directions In a large pan, whisk the cold water and the chickpea flour until it forms a smooth batter with no lumps. Tip the batter into a large, heavy-based pan over a mediumlow heat and whisk steadily.
After 10 minutes or so, the batter will start thickening and now you really need to whisk to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once the mixture is coming away cleanly from the sides of the pan, it is ready.
Now, moving swiftly, use a spatula to smear the batter on to a clean marble surface, a large flat tin, or plates. The layer should be 3-5mm thick. Let the mixture cool completely. If you have spread it on to a work surface or tin, it can be cut into squares where it is. If you have smeared it on to plates, peel off the layer of batter carefully and cut each one into slim wedges.
In a pan or deep frying pan, heat the oil to frying temperature, which is 180C, or when a cube of bread dances on the surface of the oil and turns golden after 20 seconds. Fry the panelle in small batches until they are crisp and golden. Lift from the oil with a slotted spoon on to kitchen paper to drain briefly, then transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and serve straightaway, with lemon wedges.