Mozzarella In Carrozza (Mozzarella “In a Carriage”)

This is a fun first course when served with a tomato salad, but it can also stand as a quick light meal on its own when there’s nothing else available but a piece of bread, some mozzarella, and a few eggs. There are countless variations on this recipe, some including a bit of anchovy along with the mozzarella, but this simple version is the best.

Makes about 8 antipasto servings, along with other dishes

8 large slices from a large round loaf of bread, such as Pane Sciocco or Easiest Home-baked Bread

1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

6 large eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Light or pure olive oil for frying

One wide sloping-sided sauté pan, and one jelly-roll pan lined with paper towels

  1. Arrange 4 of the slices of bread on the work surface and cover them with the sliced mozzarella, being careful not to let any of the cheese extend over the edges of the bread. Cover with the remaining slices of bread and press well to adhere the bread and cheese together.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the salt and pepper and pour them into a rectangular pan that will just hold the 4 sandwiches. Place the sandwiches in the pan and let them stand for 10 minutes to absorb the eggs.
  3. Turn the sandwiches over and let them stand for another 10 minutes.
  4. Heat 3/4 inch of olive oil in the sauté pan over medium-high heat. Slip the sandwiches into the oil with a slotted spatula and cook them on the first side until they turn deep golden, about 5 minutes. Turn them with tongs and repeat cooking on the other side.
  5. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the sandwiches to the prepared pan. Let them drain for 1 minute on each side.
  6. Cut each sandwich into 3 or 4 pieces and serve immediately.