Panelle are fritters made from chickpea flour cooked into a polenta-like consistency and then fried. Chickpea flour is available at large supermarkets and Italian or Middle Eastern groceries.
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 3 cups water
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- Parsley, sage or rosemary (optional)
- Olive oil, for frying
In heavy saucepan, whisk chickpea flour with water sea salt until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and pulling away from sides of pan. (You can stir in chopped fresh parsley, sage or rosemary, if you like). Pour onto oiled rimmed baking sheet. Spread mixture about ¼ inch thick, and smooth with oiled hands. Cover with plastic, and cool from 1–24 hours (refrigerate if more than 1 hour). Cut into rectangles or triangles, and lift from pan with spatula. In wide pan, heat ½ inch olive oil to 375˚F. Fry panelle, turning once, until crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Serve immediately, or keep warm in 250˚F oven. Serves 4–6.
Tasca d’Almerita 2011 Almerita Brut (Contea di Sclafani). “Made from all Chardonnay with lots of lees contact, this Champagne-ish bottle delivers dense fruitiness, buttered brioche and a little almond note,” says Casper Rice, wine director for Gruppo Fabio Trabocchi in Washington DC. “I’ve always been trained to drink Champagne with fried things, and Almerita Brut is a fantastic, off-the-beaten-path parallel. The lemony, crisp acidity in the wine does a great job of cleaning a palate of fried deliciousness.”