Chick-a-Pea Chick

Panelle takes its turn

The crunchy and nutty chickpea-flour fritters known as panelle are as common in Sicily as hot dogs are here.

Nestled into a sandwich, they are a fine alternative to the chickpea's familiar falafel fate, and New York has recently embraced the delicious shift:

Pane Panelle (Pane Panelle is now closed) Squeeze into the line at this Tribeca spot for sandwiches on softly seeded brioche buns. Parsley-flecked squares of panelle mingle with mozzarella and tomato sauce in a take on a chicken Parm ($9). The Melanzane e Panelle ($9) lays it on thick with fried eggplant, pecorino and a slice of mortadella. Bonus: A caponata of eggplant, onions, anchovies, raisins, pine nuts and capers accompanies each order. 305 1/2 Church St. (between Walker and Lispenard sts.); 212-219-2357 or panepanelle.com

Zito's Sandwich Shoppe The Sixpoint ales and Gotham Project wines on tap are newfangled, but the recipes here have old souls. Bensonhurst-bred Marcello Bucca and his brother-in-law Enzo Conigliaro ventured to Sicily to learn the secrets of the best panelle. Slow-cooked chickpea flour is sliced thin, fried to order, hit with fresh lemon juice and then stuffed into semolina bread ($8.50). Panelle is also served as an appetizer ($4.50) or as a special with caciocavallo and ricotta cheeses ($10). 300 Seventh Ave. (between Seventh and Eighth sts.) and 195 Fifth Ave. (between Union St. and Berkeley Pl.) Brooklyn; 718-499-2800 or zitossandwichshoppe.com