Little Pizza Turnovers
If you haven’t bought a deep frying thermometer yet, this is a good time to do it. A few of the pizzette may “spring a leak” while they fry – you can minimize the risk by not overfilling the pizzette, and by wetting and sealing the edges well as you form them.
This Little Pizza Turnovers recipe appears in Lidia Bastianich's special, Lidia Celebrates America. It also appears in the Lidia’s Italian American Kitchen cookbook.
- For the Dough:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the Filling:
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup fresh ricotta or store-bought whole-milk ricotta
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggioano cheese
- ½ cup diced (1/4-inch) smoked mozzarella
- ¼ cup chopped cacciatorini or other salami
- 6 cups vegetable oil
- Make the dough: Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl. Let stand until dissolved. Process the butter and 3 eggs in the work bowl of a food processor until blended. Add the yeast mixture, 3 cups of the flour, and the salt and process until incorporated. With the motor running, continue mixing the dough, adding enough of the remaining flour in small additions to form a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest at room temperature while preparing the filling
- Make the filling: in a large bowl, beat the egg until foamy. Add the ricotta and grated cheese and mix well. Stir in the smoked mozzarella and salami.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut 3-inch circles from the dough and place 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each circle. Wet the edges of each circle with a pastry brush or the tip of your finger dipped in cool water. Fold half the circle over the filling to make half-moon-shaped turnovers, pressing the edges firmly to seal as you go. Place the pizzette on a kitchen-towel-lines baking sheet as you form them. Reroll the scraps of dough as necessary to use all the filling.
- Cover the sheet with a kitchen towel and set the pizzette aside in a warm place until they have puffed slightly, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a heavy, deep 4-quart pot until a deep frying thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Carefully slip as many of the pizzettes as will float freely into the hot oil. Fry, turning with a wire skimmer as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining pizzette, allowing the oil to return to temperature if necessary before adding more pizzette.