Mozzarella in Carrozza

  • by Nonna Box July 16, 2022
  • |
  • Last Updated on July 27, 2022
cheesy mozzarella in carrozza

Nothing is tastier or easier to make than mozzarella in carrozza sandwiches, the ultimate comfort food from Naples. This simple and straightforward dish resembles a fried grilled cheese sandwich. All that’s required are a few essential ingredients and some simple frying skills to produce these white bread wonders with oozy mozzarella that are fried to perfection.

What is mozzarella in carrozza?

Mozzarella in carrozza is a cheesy Italian sandwich that is then fried in oil. The recipe calls for slices of white bread, usually with the crusts cut off, mozzarella cheese, and then eggs, breadcrumbs and flour to create the outer coating. The entire thing is assembled first and then fried in sunflower seed oil and served while the cheese is still stringy and warm.

What does “carrozza” mean?

The word “carrozza” means carriage in Italian. The dish was named “mozzarella in carrozza” most likely because the two slices of bread are a way to carry or contain the mozzarella, so the bread was the “carriage” for the mozzarella inside.

mozzarella in carrozza fried sandwich

Check out other Italian finger food recipes:

mozzarella in carrozza fried sandwich

Mozzarella in carrozza

Here's a classic Italian fried sandwich recipe that will make your taste buds happy.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Antipasto
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 447kcal
Author: Nonna Box

Ingredients

  • 6 slices white sandwich bread
  • 125 grams mozzarella completely dried
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • sunflower seed oil for frying
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Slice the mozzarella into medium-sized slices of about 5mm (0.2in) thick and lay them on a paper towel in a single layer for at least 30 minutes to dry. Press and pat dry with additional paper towels to ensure the mozzarella is as dry as possible.
  • If desired, remove the crusts from the sandwich bread.
    cut the bread crust
  • Carefully arrange a few mozzarella slices on one piece of bread, and place another slice of bread on top.
  • Cut the sandwich in half diagonally to form two triangle-shaped sandwiches.
    cut the sandwich half diagonally
  • Fill one plate with a cup of flour, fill another plate with a cup of breadcrumbs, and in a bowl beat the two eggs with a fork and add a pinch of salt.
    fill the plates with eggs, flour and breadcrumbs
  • Take a triangle sandwich and dip all the sides of the sandwich first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Tip: use two forks to flip the sandwich in the eggs. After each triangle is fully coated, place it in a baking pan lined with baking paper. Continue until you finished all the triangle sandwiches.
    dip the sandwich in the flour then the eggs and then the breadcrumbs
  • In a medium-sized deep saucepan, pour in an abundant amount of oil and turn on the heat, bring the oil up to temperature, approximately 175 °C / 350 °F. In order to properly fry the sandwiches, the oil should be very hot.
    Fry each sandwich for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown and crispy. You should only fry one or two triangles at a time to ensure that the oil stays at the proper heat. Fry all the sandwiches.
    fry the triangle sandwich
  • Place each finished sandwich on a plate lined with one or more paper towels to remove any excess oil. Be sure not to compress or smash the sandwiches, if they still have excess oil you can simply transfer them to a new paper towel. The mozzarella in carrozza sandwiches are best when served warm.
    lay the sandwiches on a plate
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cheesy mozzarella in carrozza

Can mozzarella in carrozza be baked instead of fried?

You can prepare a healthier version of mozzarella in carrozza by following the recipe above and then baking instead of frying. To do so, place the prepped and coated sandwiches on a covered baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 175°C / 350°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown, turning the sandwiches once about halfway through baking.

What kind of bread works best for mozzarella in carrozza?

The classic recipe for mozzarella in carrozza calls for a type of bread called pancarré in Italian, which is just a simple white bread like Wonder bread without a crust. If you can’t purchase this type of bread, you can simply cut the crust off regular white sandwich bread. However, the same recipe can be just as good leaving the crusts on or even using other types of sandwich bread such as whole wheat, farro/spelt or really any kind of bread that either comes pre-sliced or is possible to cut into fairly thin slices.

What should I serve alongside mozzarella in carrozza?

Mozzarella in carrozza sandwiches make the perfect finger food to serve as an appetizer or during happy hour with a Spritz or a glass of Prosecco. They can be served alongside other fried delicacies such as panzerotti, fried olives and potato croquettes.

Are there any fancier versions of mozzarella in carrozza?

While the classic mozzarella in carrozza sandwich is sure to be a hit, once you have perfected the recipe you can add a little something extra to make it fancier. You can layer on some anchovies, basil leaves, olive paste, sun-dried tomatoes or a slice of prosciutto, depending on what you like and what else you are serving it with. The important thing is not to overfill the sandwich, because it will be difficult to fry if it is overflowing or the fillings are coming out the sides.

The history of mozzarella in carrozza

We do not know mozzarella in carrozza’s exact history or when it was invented because it is a simple dish that originated using leftovers and ordinary ingredients available in most homes and not a more complicated dish like would be found in restaurants. It most likely began being made in its current form in the 19th century, and comes from the Campania region whose capital is the vibrant port city of Naples. The dish is from the peasant cooking tradition, and originally would have used stale day-old bread and leftover mozzarella.

When made in Campania, the typical cheese used is the special buffalo mozzarella from the local area. From here, the dish spread northward to the Lazio region where it became popular using fior di latte mozzarella typical of the region near Rome. There is also a similar dish in Venice, served in the local wine bars, that is a similar fried mozzarella and white bread sandwich and usually has anchovies or ham slices added.

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