Fried Fresh Mozzarella with Mushroom Ragu
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 (1/4-inch) slices
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups fine dried bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Wild Mushroom Ragu:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 pounds wild and exotic mushrooms, cleaned and diced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups mushroom, chicken or veal stock
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Truffles and truffle oil, for garnish
Season both sides of the cheese with salt and pepper. Season the flour, egg wash and bread crumbs separately with salt and pepper. Dredge each slice of cheese in the flour, tapping off any excess, then dip each slice in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dip the cheese in the bread crumbs, coating completely. Set aside.
Wild Mushroom Ragu:
Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter to the pan. Once the butter melts and starts to foam, add the diced onions and saute until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they have released most of their liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme, oregano, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and stock to the pan. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil and reduce to a gentle boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid has reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper, and add the basil and parsley to the pan.
In another large saute pan, over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Pan-fry the cheese until the crust is golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
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