Hands holding a chickpea fritter and ricotta sandwich on brioche.
Photography & Art Direction: Anthony Contrino – Food Styling: Katie Stilo

I can remember the first time I had a panelle sandwich.  I was visiting my Gram’s sister, my Aunt Anna, and took a walk to one of Brooklyn’s most famous sandwich shops.  I was probably going to order something basic, but my cousin was adamant that I try a panelle sandwich.  Panelle is a typical Sicilian street food often served between rustic country bread.  In Brooklyn, you’ll most like;y find it on a crusty kaiser-type roll, slathered with ricotta.  

As with most of my recipes, I take the creative liberty to change out something when I prefer something else.  In this case, it’s the bread.  I love a buttery brioche and have never been a fan of a kaiser roll.  If you want something more traditional (to a Brooklynite, at least), get yourself a crusty roll.  Either way, it’s delicious!


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6



  • 1 ½ cups chickpea flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated pecorino
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 6 brioche buns, halved


  • MAKE THE CHICKPEA FRITTERS: Spray a non-stick quarter sheet pan with non-stick vegetable spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg until well combined.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium-sized high-sided skillet, bring 3 cups of cold water to a gentle simmer.
  • Add the chickpea flour mixture to the water in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Continue to mix constantly, switching to a rubber spatula, if necessary, until the batter thickens, for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Dump the batter onto the prepared sheet pan, and, using a small offset spatula, spread it evenly into the sheet pan. It should be approximately ¼-inch in thickness.
  • Refrigerate until set, about an hour.
  • MAKE THE RICOTTA CREAM: In a medium-sized bowl, whip the ricotta, pecorino, parsley and pepper until creamy
  • Season with salt, to taste; refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwiches.
  • Cut the chickpea sheet into 12 equal pieces.
  • Fill a large, high-sided frying pan with a ¼-inch of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  • Fry the chickpea fritters in batches until lightly golden brown, for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
  • To ASSEMBLE the sandwiches, place two chickpea fritters on the bottom half of the brioche bun. Dollop with a generous scoop of ricotta cream. Top with the brioche lid and serve immediately.
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Snack
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino