- 2 cups basil leaves, picked with stems discarded
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves, picked with stem discarded
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- oil, for frying
- 2 slices white bread
- 1 tablespoon pesto (recipe above)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella
- all-purpose flour, as needed
- large egg, as needed
- panko, finely ground by food processor, as needed
- kosher salt, as needed
- homemade or store-bought arrabbiata sauce, for dipping
Homemade pesto adds a fresh, herbaceous note to this classic Italian dish. The melty mozzarella and crispy breading are the definition of classic comfort food. This recipe is tailor-made for entertaining but straight-forward enough for a family snack.
For the pesto:
Blanch the herbs. Shock in ice water. Squeeze out excess moisture. Roughly chop the herbs before adding to the blender.
Add all ingredients to the blender. Spin until blended with olive oil until desired consistency. Season to taste.
For the mozzarella en carroza:1.
Heat oil in a pot to deep- or pan-fry to 350 F.2.
Spread one side of a piece of bread with pesto and one side of another slice of bread with tomato paste (an even layer for both sides). Evenly layer mozzarella on one slice and press together into a sandwich. Freeze.3.
Remove the crust. Cut sandwiches into 3- by 1-inch fingers and dip each in flour, then egg and then panko.4.
Fry mozzarella en carrozza sticks until golden brown. Remove from the fryer onto a paper towel-lined tray and season with salt.5.
Serve with arrabbiata sauce for dipping.