Although many people will be familiar with traditional ravioli, savoury pillows of joy – floated in soups our bathed in a rich pasta sauce, they can also be made as a sweet dessert item. These sweet, fried ravioli are known as panzerotti and are the culinary specialty of the Puglia region of Italy.
These heavenly items come in many different varieties and various shape but the concept is universal throughout Italy. A light, sweetish dough, filled with an assortment of tasty sweet ingredients and then fried until crisp and golden brown.
Makes 6 serves
Ingredients – Dough
2½ cups plain flour
55 gm white sugar
good pinch of salt
50 gm unsalted butter (softened and chopped into small cubes)
¼ cup dry vermouth wine or sweet sherry
Ingredients – Ricotta filling
200 grams ricotta
75 grams caster sugar
4 fresh figs or 50 grams dried figs (finely chopped)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vino cotto or vanilla extract
vegetable oil for frying
icing sugar, toasted nuts, honey and a good drizzle of vino cotto for serving
you can also add a spoonful of thickened cream or an ice-cream scoop if you like
1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and add butter and using your fingers, rub into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Whisk together the egg and the wine and stir through flour mixture.
3. Gently knead together until the ingredients come together as a smooth ball of dough.
4. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. For filling, combine sugar and egg together and whisk. Add the ricotta and blend together to make a smooth paste.
6. Add the dried fruit, cinnamon and vino cotto and mix through. set aside until needed.
7. To create the ravioli, first cut the ball of dough into a number of pieces and roll out with a rolling pin or a pasta rolling machine as for normal ravioli.
8. Cut the sheet into a number of squares or discs.
9. Place the cut shape before you and place a dollop of the filling to one half of the shape. Moisten the edges with a little water and fold the filling free section over the filled side to create a triangle or semi-circle and press edges together.
10. Set aside on a clean tea towel and make the remaining ravioli.
11. To cook fill a pot or pan with a few centimetres of oil and heat to a medium temperature (too hot and the ravioli will burn).
12. Cook in batches, until lightly golden (approximately 2 – 3 minutes) and then remove to absorbent paper to drain. Repeat for remaining ravioli until all are cooked.
13. To serve, place a few golden ravioli on a plate, sprinkle with some toasted nuts, a drizzle of honey and vino cotto before dusting with icing sugar. You can also add a dollop of cream or ice-cream if you like.
You can fill these ravioli with numerous fillings. As a child, my mother would often make them filled with nutella or various jams either combined with ricotta or on their own. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
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