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Panella (also spelled panelle and panelli) is a Sicilian savory fritter made with a finely-ground flour from ceci or chickpeas. Sold at street stands and street markets in Palermo, fried panella are eaten as is or multiple slices are piled in a sesame roll and enjoyed as a sandwich. Panella are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Serve panella as a snack or as a side dish similar to polenta crostini. We like dipping them in a little warm tomato sauce. Chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour) can be found at Italian markets and health food stores.
1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour 2 cups water 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Olive oil for frying
Coarse salt (optional)
In a bowl combine the flour and water until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Spread it quickly before it cools with a spatula onto a baking sheet. You want an even layer that is 1/2 inch thick. Try to spread it into a rectangle or square which will make it easier to cut later. Dip your spatula into some water and smooth the top of the dough. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 3-inch squares.
Heat about 1/2-inch of olive oil in a large skillet. Use a spatula to lift the squares off of the baking sheet. Fry the panella 2 to 3 minutes per side until crisp and golden. Transfer panella to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with salt, if desired, and serve.