the appetizer:

Explore regional Italian recipes in Italia by Antonio Carluccio, including Chickpea Fritters (Panelle con Frittella); Giant Ravioli with Pecorino and Honey (Sebadas); and Eel Baked with Bay Leaves (Bisato sul' Ara).



Chickpea Fritters

Chickpea Fritters
Panelle con Frittella


Serves 4

Panelle are a specialty of Palermo, where the fritters are often eaten in a panino (roll). Here they are served with a fresh vegetable stew, comprising artichokes, peas, and fava beans-the perfect Sicilian complement. When fresh peas and fava beans are not in season, you can use frozen ones.


  • Generous 2 cups (300 g) chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp anise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
  • olive oil for frying


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 oz (200 g) onions, finely sliced
  • 10 oz (300 g) young and tender artichoke hearts, halved
  • 1-3/4 cups (275 g) podded tender garden peas
  • 2 cups (300 g) podded fava beans
  • 3 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed

To make the panelle, in a pan, mix the chickpea flour with the anise, some salt and pepper, and 2 cups (500 ml) water until smooth. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring, and cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes until the mixture thickens, then mix in the parsley. Pour onto an oiled baking sheet or marble surface and flatten to a 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness. Leave until cool and set.

In the meantime, prepare the frittella. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onions until soft. Add the artichoke hearts, peas, fava beans, and about 1/3 cup (100 ml) water. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Add the parsley and capers, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the set chickpea mixture into circles or diamonds and pan-fry in olive oil until golden on each side. Drain on paper towels, then serve the fritters with the vegetable stew.

  • from:
  • by Antonio Carluccio
  • Quadrille Publishing
  • $35.95; Hardcover: 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1844004252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844004256
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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