- 6 slice white bread
- 1 slice fist-sized ball mozzarella
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon egg
This is Italian food before Tuscan rustic chic.
The "in Carrozza" bit means "in a carriage" and doesn't really explain what this golden-crusted fried mozzarella sandwich is about, just gives an indication that the milky cheese is somehow contained.
What you should know if you've never tried it (apart from the fact that it is one of the quickest, most gratifying dinners imaginable) is that it is somewhere between French toast and grilled cheese.
For children (and do bear this in mind for a quick, hot filler when they get back from school) it is desirably like a pizza sandwich, and could be made more so with tomato sauce smeared within the bread's tender interior.
It works, as well, served with a tomato or, for adults, chili sauce alongside, into which you can dip the corners of the oozing sandwich as you eat.
And, unorthodox though this is, I love it with a fierce sprinkling of chopped, fresh red chili to counter the gorgeously melting blandness of the mozzarella.
I can't pretend this version is absolutely authentic; it wasn't invented using soft white bread.
But white sliced is just fine and, frankly, what I use.
For one thing, if you have children it's what you tend to have in the house.
Just be sure to use the lightest hand when dunking it into the milk; more than a moment and the bread will have dissolved into unredeemable mushiness.
But don't be cautious about this: it's quick and easy to make, and requires very little in the way of shopping.
Speaking of which, it's not worth buying the better, and more expensive, buffalo mozzarella here.
The milky dampness of that cheese is not required; it is anyway too liquid and, besides, ordinary cow's-milk mozzarella produces just the right fleshy goo, oozing out of the cut sandwich into stringy, chewy ribbons.
Make sandwiches out of the bread and mozzarella, leaving a little margin around the edges unfilled with cheese, and press the edges together with your fingers to help seal.
(One of the advantages of soft white bread is that it is easily smushed together.)
Pour the milk into one soup bowl, the flour into another, and beat the egg with salt and pepper in another.
Warm the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
Dunk the sandwiches briefly, one by one, in the milk, then dredge in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg.
Fry in hot oil on each side till crisp and golden and remove to a paper towel.
Cut in half and serve.