Panelle di Fabrizia

The Observer Food Monthly - - Contents - Rachel Roddy

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.

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