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Panelle Sandwich

Take a bite into this crispy, creamy Sicilian street food with a Brooklyn spin.
Take a bite into this crispy, creamy Sicilian street food with a Brooklyn spin.TODAY
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. This modest sandwich pays homage to one of the best street foods you'll find in Sicily: a crispy chickpea fritter. Often served between rustic country bread in Italy, this Brooklynized version is slathered in a flavorful ricotta spread for a melt-in-your-mouth experience with every bite. 

Technique tip: Slowly add chickpea flour to avoid clumping.

Swap option: Use a Kaiser roll instead of brioche.


For the chickpea fritters
  • cups chickpea flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the ricotta cream
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta (store-bought or 2 cups of homemade ricotta)
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated pecorino
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
To assemble
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 6 brioche buns, halved


Make the chickpea fritters:


Spray a nonstick quarter sheet pan with nonstick vegetable spray.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg until well combined.


Meanwhile, in a medium-sized high-sided skillet, bring 3 cups of cold water to a gentle simmer.


Add the chickpea flour mixture to the water in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.


Continue to mix constantly (switching to a rubber spatula, if necessary) until the batter thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes.


Dump the batter onto the prepared sheet pan and, using a small offset spatula, spread it evenly into the sheet pan. It should be approximately ¼-inch in thickness.


Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Make the ricotta cream:


While the fritters cool, in a medium-sized bowl, whip the ricotta, pecorino, parsley and pepper until creamy.


Season mixture with salt, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwiches.

Make the chickpea fritters


Remove sheet pan from the fridge and cut the set chickpea sheet into 12 equal pieces. The texture may be slightly rubbery but each fritter should maintain its shape. 


Fill a large, high-sided frying pan with a ¼-inch of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers.


Fry the chickpea fritters in batches, until lightly golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan.


Transfer fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil.


To assemble the sandwiches, place two chickpea fritters on the bottom half of the brioche bun. Dollop with a generous scoop of ricotta spread. Top with the brioche lid and serve immediately.