A popular street food or antipasto from Naples and Rome that dates back to the 1800s, mozzarella in carrozza literally means "mozzarella in carriage," referring to the resemblance that the string of melted cheese has to the reins of a horse and carriage.
While it's commonly made with soft white bread, which is somewhat lighter and you can squash together to seal the edges better (just be careful that it doesn't get too soft once dipped in the egg mixture), it's tastier with a delicious sourdough bread or a rustic country-style, wood-fired loaf. You can actually use pretty much any bread you like for this as long as the crusts are cut off and the bread is good and compact.
This is recipe is adapted from Roman cookbook author Ada Boni. —Emiko
balls (about 1/2 pound or 250 grams) fresh mozzarella
thin slices crusty bread (see note), crusts removed
(roughly 125 grams) flour
(60 milliliters) milk
salt and white pepper
(500 milliliters) vegetable oil, for frying (see recipe for indications)
Slice the mozzarella into 1-centimeters (1/3-inch) slices and let them drain in a colander while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cut the bread slices in half so that you have 8 slices of bread. If the bread you are using is an irregular shape (such as a flat country loaf), try to cut the bread into square-ish shapes roughly fitting the size of the mozzarella slices (trying not to create too much wastage of the bread as you shape it).
In a wide, shallow bowl, place the flour. In a separate wide, shallow bowl, crack the egg and beat it lightly with a fork. Add the milk, a pinch of salt, and some pepper.
Pat the mozzarella slices on paper towel to dry them out a little and sandwich them between the bread slices, being careful that the mozzarella slice does not go to right to the edge of each sandwich (leave about 1/4-inch border).
First dip each edge of the sandwich into the flour, then dip those edges into the egg mixture. Then dip again the flour, this time covering the entire sandwich well. Then dip into the egg mixture to cover well. Set aside on a plate and continue until the sandwiches are all ready.
Choose a pan, such as a deep skillet or frying pan, where you can fit 2 to 3 sandwiches at a time. Heat enough oil so that the sandwiches will be mostly covered while frying (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep). Test the heat of the oil with some of the extra bread—a cube of bread dropped into the oil should have little bubbles immediately surrounding it and turn golden in about 15 seconds.
Place 2 or 3 sandwiches into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, then flip them over carefully and fry the other side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel for a moment, season with more salt if desired, and serve immediately, sliced in half diagonally. (Be careful not to burn your mouth on hot melted cheese!)
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.