Mozzarella in Carroza

Mozzarella in carroza was one of the first Italian appetizers I learned how to cook. It's simple to assemble, quick-cooking and delicious. Unlike fried mozzarella, which can be found on many Italian menus, this is the more traditional fried mozzarella sandwich.

"In carroza" translates as cheese "in a carriage." The mozzarella cheese is encased between two layers of firm sandwich bread dipped in egg and fried in olive oil until both sides of the bread are golden and the cheese is melted. The sandwich is removed to a warm plate and then the pan is deglazed with white wine and fresh lemon juice. Chopped fresh Italian parsley is added and softened butter is swirled in last to make a lemon wine sauce. You can also serve it with a fresh tomato salsa. Once you try this you may never order a fried mozzarella stick again. Not only is this a good appetizer but it also makes a quick lunch; serve it with a tossed green salad and a glass of white wine.

Mozzarella in Carroza
Makes one sandwich.

  • 2 slices of firm white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 1 thick slice of mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Dried oregano to taste
  • Egg wash (2 eggs beaten with 1 teaspoon cream)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce

  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter

Assemble each sandwich by placing the mozzarella between the two slices of bread and seasoning with salt, pepper, dried oregano and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Press the sandwich firmly together. Dip each sandwich into the egg wash. Place in a hot sauté pan with enough olive oil to fry until golden and crisp on each side. Remove from the pan to a warmed plate. Drain any residual olive oil from the pan, but don't wipe out the pan. Add the white wine and lemon juice to the hot pan. Cook until liquid is reduced in half, add parsley and butter, swirl the pan until butter is melted and immediately top the sandwich. Cut the sandwich into diagonally sliced quarters and serve hot with or without the fresh tomato salsa.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and set aside. Serve on the side of each sandwich.

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