Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Make Italian Mozzarelle in Carrozza

Miraculous things happen when you dip a mozzarella sandwich in batter and fry to perfection

What's wrong with me that I've never shared this recipe with you before?! Seriously! Not once (before today) I stopped to  take pictures for you. And I make mozzarelle in carrozza all the time at home. All the times that I'm looking for a fun, scrumptious and quick dinner idea. And all those times that I miss home. Yes, this is one of those recipes that makes my mind fly 10,000 km across the ocean, and reminds me of Venezia. 
Even though I can't duplicate the delicious-smelling scent drifting off the crowded osterie, or the same magical atmosphere of walking along the canals while eating one of these, I can reproduce the taste of the same mozzarelle in carrozza in my own kitchen, and share with you this recipe. 
So once you try it too, you can take a big bite, close your eyes, and daydream. Just like I do! 

Mozzarelle in carrozza (traslated "mozzarelle in a carriage") is one of my favorite "cicchetti" serve by traditional "bacari" (non-fancy, little restaurants/bars in Venezia).
Cicchetti is the Venetian name for some types of scrumptious finger food, snack or small dish. Think of Spanish tapas but Italian, and generally eaten standing around the bar counter, while hanging with your friends and sipping some local wine. 
The tradition has it that you should walk around from one osteria to the next, generally at dinner time (but lunch works too!), savoring and tasting the large variety of authentic food while sipping wine and enjoy your time with friends. Make it a pre-dinner happy hour , or a unique dinner experience. 
A must-try, next time you find yourself in Venezia! 

Mozzarelle in carrozza are originally from Naple, but Venice changed up the recipe, and made it its own.  
In Southern Italy, the mozzarella sandwich is dipped in flour and egg wash (some cases I've seen bread crumbs too) and fried.
In Venezia, we dip in a "pastella" (thick batter made with flour, milk, egg). And to add an extra layer of indulgence, we add one anchovy fillet in the middle (or ham if you prefer). Fry, serve steamy hot and melty on the inside. And eat as fast as you can!
Buon appetito :)


YIELD: 8 pieces
    • 1 cup (150 gr) of all-purpose flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 egg
    • about 3/4 cup (175 ml)  of milk
    • 8 slices of bread
    • 2 large fresh mozzarella balls
    • 8 anchovy fillets (optional)
    • oil to fry


TIME: 30 minutes
    In a bowl, add the flour and salt. Mix in the egg. While whisking add the milk some at the time.
    Mix until the batter is smooth. It needs to be quite dense. Adjust with a little more milk if too dense. 
    Slice the mozzarella in thick slices.

    Remove the bread crust if you'd like. But I generally leave it on.
    Cut in half, straight or diagonally. I like to cut the sandwiches straight in half, so the mozzarella is distributed more evenly.

     Make the sandwiches with a thick slice of mozzarella in the middle, plus one anchovy fillet on top of the mozzarella if you like.

    Press the edges of the sandwiches down to seal a little.
    Dip in the batter.

    And fry on both sides. You can use a large frying pan, with just enough oil to cover the bottom. Make sure the oil is perfectly hot before adding the mozzarella sandwiches. I use a wooden spoon (or toothpick) to test. When you see little bubbles forming around the spoon you know the oil is hot enough.
    Turn the mozzarelle in carrozza on both sides, and fry until golden.
    Dry a little on a paper towel, and serve immediately.