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These delicious Italian pasties are like a deep fried calzone. When dropped into the hot oil the dough puffs up resulting in a crisp, slightly chewy texture.

This recipe is for a vegetarian version but you can fill them with any of your favourite pizza toppings, my favourite is Italian meatballs and cheese . For this I use 1½ meatballs per pasty with about 1 teaspoon of the tomato sauce, topped with a small amount of grated mozzarella.

Makes 16


450 g strong white bread flour
pinch salt
1 teaspoon dried yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
300 ml warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ red pepper, diced
10 g courgette, diced
50 g black olives, pitted and quartered
125 g mozzarella cheese, diced small
salt and pepper
5-6 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
oil for deep frying


Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast.

Make a well in the centre, add the oil and water and mix to a soft dough.

Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.

Put into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise while you make the filling.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes.

Add the red pepper, courgette and garlic and continue to cook gently for a further 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Season to taste.

Set aside to cool then stir in the olives and cheese.

Briefly knead the dough then divide into 16 pieces. Roll out one piece to about 10 cm.

Mix together the tomato puree and the dried herbs. Spread about one teaspoon onto the circle leaving a 2cm border around the edge.

Take 16th of the filling and place in the centre of one half of the circle. Brush the edges with water and fold the other half of the circle over the filling to make a pasty. Press to make a seal, then crimp by pinching long the edges with your thumb and forefinger. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Heat the oil in a deep fat frying to 180C. Deep fry in batches for around 3 minutes or until puffed up and golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

They freeze well and can be heated in the oven from frozen.

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