Mozzarella in Carrozza is just a fried mozzarella sandwich, an Italian snack that’s as simple as it’s delicious: fried slices of bread with a stringy mozzarella filling.
The ingredients and the preparation are very simple. A few slices of mozzarella cheese between two slices of white bread, cut into triangles, breaded and fried. What a treat!
The secret to keeping the mozzarella from leaking during frying? Make a double breading that seals the bread slices well. The result? Crispy and sensational!
Mozzarella in carrozza is a traditional preparation from Campania and Lazio, created as a “recovery” dish to use up stale bread and leftover mozzarella. It’s a quick and easy dish to serve hot and crunchy.
You can enjoy Mozzarella in Carrozza as an aperitif or appetizer, but also as a main course, perhaps accompanied by a fresh salad or fries. Why not?
Its succulent mozzarella filling and crisp, golden “carrozza” (the bread) make this dish one of the tastiest ways to enjoy the world’s most famous dairy product: mozzarella.
So let’s see how to prepare this mouthwatering Mozzarella in Carrozza with all the tricks and tips to make it perfect!
- Prep Time: 10 Min
- Cook Time: 15 Min
- Rest time: 15 minutes in the fridge
- Servings: 12 sandwiches or 6 people
PLEASE NOTE: The number of mozzarella sandwiches depends on the size of the sandwiches you want to make. We have divided the slices of white bread in two. But if you want to make bites, for example as an appetizer, you can divide the triangle into two smaller pieces.
- 250 g (8 oz) of fresh mozzarella (2 ball mozzarella)
- 12 slices of white bread, crusts removed
- 3 eggs
- 100 g (1 cup) of all purpose flour
- 300 g (2 3/4 cups) of breadcrumbs
- fine salt to taste
- 1 liter of peanut oil or sunflower oil for frying
Mozzarella in Carrozza Recipe: Instructions
Fill the Bread
Step 1) – To prepare mozzarella in carrozza, first remove the mozzarella from its liquid. Put them in a sieve and let them drain for a few minutes.
Then cut the mozzarellas into slices about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Pat some kitchen paper to absorb the liquid. It’s very important that the mozzarella does not release much water during cooking.
The white bread should not have a crust.
Step 2) – Now place the mozzarella slices on the bread slices. Overlap another slice of bread and press well with our hands.
Step 3) – Cut the mozzarella sandwich in half.
We chose to cut two triangles from each sandwich, which is the most common shape. But you can also cut the bread into other shapes (four squares, rectangles, or smaller triangles).
Step 4) – Now it’s time for the breading. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a little salt.
Step 5) – Dip the mozzarella sandwiches in the flour. Press the edges of the bread well, trying to seal the two slices together.
Then dip the floured slices in the beaten egg. Finally, dip them in the breadcrumbs. Press the edges together with each step.
If you are not in a hurry, leave the slices in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. This will make them more compact.
Step 6) – Continue with the second breading. This time only in the egg and breadcrumbs.
PLEASE NOTE: The secret to keeping the mozzarella from leaking during cooking is to do a double breading. However, to keep it from being too heavy, if you can only do the double breading on the three outer edges. This will seal the sandwich well and prevent it from being too thick.
How to Fry Mozzarella in Carrozza
Step 7) – Pour the frying oil into a high-sided frying pan. Bring the oil to 170°C (338°F). If you don’t have a thermometer, put a piece of bread in the oil and when you see the first bubbles, it’s ready for frying.
Dip the mozzarella sandwiches in the oil and fry until golden brown and crisp. This will only take a few minutes.
Remove the Mozzarella in Carrozza from the oil with a slotted spoon.
Step 8) – Drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Add a pinch of salt and serve immediately. The stringy heart and crispy crust are truly delicious. Nobody can resist this goodness!
YOU MUST ALSO TRY:
Mozzarella in Carrozza should be eaten immediately! Hot, stringy and crispy!
Freezing is not recommended.
However, you can make this delicious mozzarella sandwich in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a few hours before frying.
Tips for the Best Mozzarella in Carrozza
As you have seen, the mozzarella in carrozza recipe is very easy to make.
However, there are 3 important steps that it’s best to follow to the letter to get an excellent result.
- Dry the Mozzarella: First, dry the mozzarella well, both before and after slicing. Removing excess moisture is essential to get a mozzarella in carrozza that is dry on the outside and soft on the inside.
- Seal the Edges of the Sandwich: Second, seal the edges of the sandwich well so that they stick together and the cheese doesn’t leak out during frying.
- Choose Coarse Breadcrumbs: Finally, it’s best to choose a breading that is not too fine. Choosing a coarser breading will result in an even crispier outer crust that will best enhance the soft, stringy filling. Also, this recipe was created to make use of leftover bread, so what better way to grate it than to buy ready-made breadcrumbs? In this regard, we recommend that you read our article: How to make Italian breadcrumbs at home.
Which Bread is Best?
The traditional Italian mozzarella in carrozza recipe calls for homemade stale bread, in part because in ancient times there was no white bread to make sandwiches.
Of course, you can use any bread you like. However, it must have a firm crumb. If you use bread with a hard crust, it’s better to remove it.
The most important tip is that the two slices of bread seal each other as much as possible. The crumb sticks together more easily than the crust. That’s why it’s easier to make this recipe with crustless white bread.
Mozzarella in Carrozza: Some Variations
Of course, the one we have shown is the authentic recipe of mozzarella in carrozza and its taste is very delicate.
You can stay true to the traditional recipe or you can enrich the filling in different ways, according to your taste and imagination.
The most traditional fillings, besides the simple mozzarella, are as follows
- Mozzarella and anchovies in oil
- Mozzarella and dried tomatoes
- Mozzarella and ham
BASIL: Often just a leaf of fresh basil is added to mozzarella to give it a special flavor.
BUFFALO MOZZARELLA: Of course, for a more savory taste, choose buffalo mozzarella.
How to Serve Mozzarella in Carrozza
For your parties or dinners with friends, you can make mozzarella in carrozza with different flavors as suggested above. Distinguish them by giving your fried mozzarella sandwiches different shapes. Success is guaranteed!
Mozzarella in Carrozza History
How did Mozzarella in Carrozza come about? This dish with a royal name is actually a humble dish of popular tradition.
It was born as a quick solution to reuse ingredients that were no longer fresh. Like stale bread and mozzarella cheese from days gone by.
The most reliable history dates back to the Middle Ages, in the inland areas of Campania. Although, with the passage of time, some regions revisited the recipe slightly and others, such as Lazio, would appropriate the authorship.
In Campania, buffalo mozzarella is common, while the Lazio version prefers fiordilatte.
Origins and Meaning of the Name “Mozzarella in Carrozza”
There are many stories and legends about how this recipe came to be called “Mozzarella in Carrozza”.
Some say that Mozzarella in Carrozza is so named because the mozzarella is placed on two golden slices of bread that look like a carriage (carrozza) that serves as a chariot for the cheese.
Or, in an even more fanciful vision, the mozzarella on the bread melts as it is fried, and when you bite into it, it forms ropes. Creating “reins” that guide the slices (i.e. the chariot) on which it is placed.
A more historical hypothesis, however, is that in the 19th century milk was transported on wagons (that is “carrozza” in Italian) like any other commodity. Due to the constant movement during the journey, the milk curdled. And it often arrived at its destination in the form of cheese! Hence the name Mozzarella in Carrozza.
Another hypothesis is that the name comes from its shape. Before the advent of sliced white bread in supermarkets, Mozzarella in Carrozza was wrapped in two round slices of bakery bread, exactly resembling the wheel of a carriage (carrozza).
Thus, mozzarella in carrozza is a dish of traditional Italian cucina povera, simple and hearty, which has come back into fashion and popularity thanks to the street food fad.