Panzerotti alla Romana

Roman Cheese and Ham Fritters


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Probably one of the earliest recipes from the culinary history of the great city of Rome, these rich and savoury dough fritters would traditionally be served as an antipasto or a snack; at some time in their history they were probably cooked as street food and sold from sizzling cauldrons of boiling oil to hungry passers-by. You can vary the contents of the filling according to personal taste; for example, mozzarella or scamorza can be used instead of the Gruyère, and salami or cooked ham could be used instead of the prosciutto crudo.


  • 115 g/4 oz/1 cup finely cubed Gruyère cheese
  • 75 g/3 oz/¾ cup chopped prosciutto crudo
  • 25 ml/1 ½ tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 300 g/11 oz/2 ⅔ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Mix the cubed cheese with the prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and the beaten whole egg. Season with a little salt and ground black pepper, and set aside until required.

  2. Put the flour in a mound on the work surface. Plunge your fist into the middle to make a hollow. Put a pinch of salt, the butter and the egg yolks into the hollow. Blend together with your fingertips, adding 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp cold water, if necessary.

  3. When you have achieved a smooth ball of dough, roll it out as thinly as possible.
  4. Use a 5cm/2in pastry or cookie cutter or inverted tumbler to cut out circles of dough.
  5. Put a spoonful of the cheese mixture on to each circle and fold in half. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg white, and seal the panzerotti closed.

  6. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep pan until a small piece of the pastry, dropped into the oil, sizzles instantly. Fry the panzerotti for 5 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.