Crispy Mozzarella Balls with Rich Tomato Basil Sauce

    30 minutes

    These deep fried mozzarella balls with a homemade tomato and basil sauce make a delicious starter or entree. Most can be prepared ahead for an easy, impressive starter.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 1 (400g) can chopped tomatoes
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 6 fresh basil leaves
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
    • 4 mozzarella balls in brine, drained
    • vegetable oil, for deep frying
    • 15g butter

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tinned tomatoes, salt and pepper, oregano and tomato paste.
    2. Stir well, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until thick. cool for 5 minutes. Place into a blender, add fresh torn basil leaves and blend until the sauce is a thick puree. Pour into a bowl, cool down then chill until required for re-heating later.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare the mozzarella. Place beaten eggs in a bowl and breadcrumbs in another bowl. Dip the mozzarella first into the beaten egg, drain the excess the dip into the breadcrumbs to coat. Repeat with the remaining balls. Then repeat the whole process so the balls have a double coating. Place onto a dish and chill in the fridge until required.
    4. When ready to cook, heat some vegetable oil in a deep fryer, wok or deep saucepan. While the oil is heating up, heat your tomato sauce in a saucepan gently, do not boil. When heated through add the butter to the sauce and mix well.
    5. Gently add two mozzarella balls into the hot oil. You don't want the oil too hot otherwise the breadcrumbs will burn and the cheese will not soften correctly. Mine took 5 minutes to cook; the breadcrumbs should be crispy and browned and the cheese firm but slightly gooey.
    6. Serve on a plate with tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves to garnish.

    Make ahead

    The sauce can be prepared up to two days in advance, in fact it really helps the flavour develop more. If you don't have time to do that, you can prepare a few hours in advance and is still tasty.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    very tasty.  -  27 Nov 2012  (Review from Allrecipes UK & Ireland)


    i love it!!!!!! my kids do 2  -  24 Jan 2018  (Review from Allrecipes UK & Ireland)