This week Bitchin’ Kitchen had their holiday special on TV where Nadia G. prepared “The Feast of the Seven Dishes.” At the end of the episode, they showed Nadia’s Christmas music video, “A Bitchin’ Christmas” which featured several guest stars including Vegan Black Metal Chef. He pops out of a holiday gift box to denounce bacon and praise seitan. Very cool! Vegan Black Metal Chef will also be appearing on Anthony Bourdain’s Christmas special on Dec. 12th. How’s that for vegans representing in unlikely places?
The Supperclub Challenge was one of the seven dishes – an appetizer called Puttanesca Panzarottis. Basically, they are mini-calzones. The original recipe includes anchovies but since sea animals should get to celebrate life and the holidays as well, I substituted spinach. And of course, the cheeses used are vegan and cow-friendly. I also omitted sugar from the tomato sauce because I just never use sugar in tomato sauce.
As Nadia suggests, you can make it easier and buy some ready-made pizza dough. Finding vegan and gluten-free pizza dough, however, requires a holiday miracle so I bought a mix and made my own. Just be careful not to fill the dough too much or they will burst open when you cook them, especially if you are using gluten-free dough which has less elasticity.
These panzarotti are great appetizers for your holiday party. You can use whatever filling you want – mushrooms, “beef” crumbles, spinach, vegan sausage – the possibilities are endless. The puttanesca filling has that classic salty, briny flavor you get from the Kalamata olives and capers.
Crispy, golden, fried pizza dough, salty olives and capers, ooey-gooey melty cheese, zingy tomato sauce and a bit of spinach to let you think you’re eating something healthy. Each panzarotti is like a little present you get to open with your mouth. And since the recipe makes about a dozen, it’s the best kind of gift – the kind you get to share with others. Thanks to Nadia G. for sharing these with us.
1-28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 batch prepared gluten-free pizza dough
Brown rice flour, for dusting
1 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
2 Tbs. capers
2 Tbs. Kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup fresh spinach, shredded
Vegan grated parmesan
Canola oil, for frying
Prepare the sauce by squeezing each peeled tomato over a bowl to remove the juice and seeds. Keep the tomato flesh in another bowl. Roughly chop the tomato flesh. To the tomato flesh, add the parsley, basil, oregano, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder. Mix well and set aside.
Dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter (3” or 5” depending how big you want the panzarotti), cut circles out of the dough. Take the leftover dough and roll it out again to make more circles.
On one half of each circle, place 1 Tbs. of mozzarella shreds, 1 Tbs. tomato sauce, ¼ tsp. capers, ¼ tsp. olives and some spinach. Sprinkle on a bit of grated parmesan. Fold the circle over and seal the edges closed. Use fork tines to completely seal the edges.
In a heavy pot, heat 6 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Deep-fry the panzarotti in batches of 3 or 4 until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes. Place them on a paper towel lined plate and then move to a cooling rack. If you are not planning to eat them right away, keep them on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven so they stay crisp.
Serve with tomato sauce for dipping, if desired. Enjoy!
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.