I love cheese, thus the fascination with mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce. Here’s a recipe I adapted from Giada De Laurentis. Of course, I made some changes according to my taste.
For the marinara sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
For the mozzarella sticks
1 1/2 cups Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 pieces 16-ounce blocks pasteurized mozzarella cut into 4 by 1/2-inch sticks
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
In a deep saucepan or casserole, heat the oil under medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onions for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Stir in the tomatoes (including the juices) and celery. Season it with 1/2 a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the celery bits are soft. Add the bay leaves and simmer for another 20 minutes under low fire or until the sauce thickens. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Pour the mixture in a blender and blend for 30 seconds or until there are no more solid parts. Season it with salt and pepper. Set it aside or refrigerate if you prepared it in advance.
Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and mix well. Transfer it to a plate.
Dredge the mozzarella in flour. Dip it in beaten egg and let the excess egg drip back into the bowl. After, roll it in the bread crumbs mixture. Repeat this process for all the mozzarella sticks. When you are done, dip the mozzarella sticks in egg; let the excess egg drip. Coat it in bread crumbs for the second time. Place them in a baking sheet. Cover and freeze until frozen (2 hours – 2 days).
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or deep fryer. Fry the mozzarella sticks until golden brown. Drain the excess oil using paper towels or in a strainer. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with cheese or chopped parsley if desired. Serve warm with marinara sauce.
Photo Courtesy Of: irrezolut