Making Your Own Italian Snacks

We love Italian food whether it’s in Italy or in Australia, at a restaurant or home with friends or even in front of Netflix. Italy is perhaps one of the most delicious countries in Europe. So, it’s no wonder many Australians want to cook up their own Italian feast at home.

And although we love pumpkin Tortelloni with Pecorino di Fossa cheese and balsamic vinegar Tagliatelle with Bolognese Ragù at the Corte d’Aibo farmhouse with a its own winery about 20 km from Bologna and and truffle hunting in the Adriatic coastline and the Apennine Mountains in Abruzzo, there are many equally delicious experiences you can make in the comfort of your home. Tofu and Spinach Stuffed Shells and Roman-Style Braised Oxtails come to mind; however these are also calling for a big celebration.

There are some simple and truly Italian ‘delicatessen style’ snacks you can enjoy with your beverage of choice at home. These three simple snacks will bring Italy to you!

Panelle, or Chickpea Fritters

These delectable chickpea fritters are believed to have been introduced to Sicily by the Arabs who dominated the area between the 9th and the 11th century.

Today, panelle are one of the most popular street foods on the island, especially in Palermo where they are traditionally served between two pieces of country bread.

And you can make your own panelle at home.


400g of chickpea flour 2 tbsp of parsley, chopped salt pepper white bread rolls to serve vegetable oil for deep-frying.

How to make it?

  1. To make the panelle batter, whisk together the chickpea flour and 1.2l of water in a bowl, making sure you remove all of the lumps (you could also use a hand blender)
  2. Transfer to a saucepan, add salt and pepper and place over a medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. When the water is all absorbed and the mixture becomes creamy, add the chopped parsley, stir well and turn off the heat
  3. Quickly spread the mixture onto flat baking trays with a wooden spoon. Make sure the sheet of chickpea batter is very thin (about 2mm or 3mm)
  4. Allow the chickpea batter to cool and set completely, then cut each sheet with a knife into 6 slices. Place the panelle on a clean plate and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to fry them
  5. Preheat a deep-fryer or deep pan of oil to 170°C
  6. Deep-fry them in the oil until slightly puffed up and golden in colour. When ready, put them on a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain any excess oil
  7. Serve hot with a sprinkle of salt and pepper inside a warm bread roll.

Best enjoyed warm, the crunchy fritters are typically drizzled with lemon juice and, for a more substantial snack, they can be topped with fresh ricotta cheese.

Involtini di pesce spade, or Swordfish Rolls

Swordfish rolls are one of the traditional Italian dishes that are mainly associated with Sicily. The dish employs thin swordfish fillets that are stuffed with different combinations of breadcrumbs, lemon zest, capers, garlic, fresh herbs, pine nuts, currants, and occasionally raisins or cheese.

The rolls can be grilled or pan-fried and are often paired with a squeeze of lemon juice or the lemon and olive oil-based salmoriglio sauce.


1 kilo (2 lbs) swordfish, trimmed of its skin and cut into very thin slices, paper, salt, 100g (1 cup) breadcrumbs 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced, a small handful of raisins (about 25g) soaked in warm water, a small handful of pine nuts (about 25g), olive oil.

How to make it?

  1. Trim skin from swordfish steaks. Slice them horizontally into thin slices (no thicker than 1/2 in.). Place each slice in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and, using flat side of a mallet or the underside of a small skillet, pound until about 1/4 in. thick. Repeat with remaining slices. Season fish lightly with about 1/2 tsp. salt, stack on a plate, and chill.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup panko, the currants, pine nuts, capers, lemon zest, 1 1/2 tbsp. parsley, 1/4 tsp. salt, the chile flakes, and 3 tbsp. oil.
  3. Cut swordfish slices into pieces 3 to 4 in. wide. Set out on a work surface and brush tops with some oil, then turn slices over. Working with one slice at a time, sprinkle with 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. panko filling. Roll up slice, tucking in sides if they’re raggedy to make a neat package (some filling will fall out; don’t worry about this). Skewer roll closed with toothpicks, pointing them in the same direction so the fish will be easier to turn in the pan. Repeat with remaining fish and filling.
  4. Spread remaining 3/4 cup panko on a plate. Coat each roll with panko, pressing gently so crumbs adhere.
  5. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add swordfish rolls and cook, covered turning once, until nicely browned on top and bottom, about 5 minutes (it’s okay if they’re still a little pink on the sides; they’ll continue to cook off the heat). Lift to a platter, twist and then pull out toothpicks. Season lightly with salt and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tbsp. parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Pizzette, or Small Pizzas

Pizzetta is a small version of pizza that varies in size and shape, so some pizzettas can even be prepared in the shape of a heart. It is made in the same way as a regular, large pizza, consisting of a dough base topped with sauces, cheeses, and various additional ingredients. We love adding prawns to ours!

The dish is usually served as an appetizer, a quick snack, or a light meal.


500g of bread flour, pinch caster sugar, 7g of instant yeast, 1 ½ cups water, lukewarm, 80g Hungarian salami (pr prawn), sliced, 1 x 400g can of whole peeled tomatoes, 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 1/2 tsp of oregano, 200g grated mozzarella cheese and salt.

How to make it?

  1. To activate the yeast, combine sugar, yeast, a pinch of flour and 2 tablespoons of water into a small bowl. This should take 30 minutes to become frothy.
  2. Place remaining flour and another pinch of salt into a mixer with the dough hook attached and combine. Add the yeast mixture and on a low speed slowly incorporate. Then add the remaining water and knead for 5 minutes or until a soft, elastic ball of dough forms. Place in a clean bowl, greased with a little extra virgin olive oil and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Prove in a warm part of the kitchen for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  3. Crush the tomatoes with your hand and cook for 3-4 minutes with extra virgin olive oil in a small pot to thicken. Season with salt and oregano and cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  5. Knock the dough back and knead 2-3 times, then divide into 6 balls. Use a rolling pin to roll dough into pizza dough disk.
  6. Top pizza bases with tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni leaving a small border. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
If you want help planning your Italian holiday, just reach out to us on 1800 242 353 or chat live online.