1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/2-3 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 pounds bocconcini, drained
12 whole basil leaves
2 cups prepared tomato sauce, kept warm
Sunflower or Canola oil for frying
Beat the eggs with a fork in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Combine the salt and flour in another bowl and set aside. Pour the bread crumbs into a third bowl.
Dry off the bocconcini with paper towels and coat them in flour, then egg and finally bread crumbs. Place them on a baking sheet.
Heat 4 cups of oil to 375°Fin a deep fryer or heavy duty pot. Add the bocconcini a few at a time and fry until golden. Drain them on absorbent paper and keep warm until all the pieces are fried. Add the basil leaves to the oil and fry about 1 minute; drain on absorbent paper.
Spoon about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce in the middle of 6 individual salad dishes. Place three to four balls on top of the sauce; add acouple of fried basil leaves for garnish and serve.
Or place the bocconcini on a platter. Scoop the tomato sauce into a serving bowl and let everyone help themselves. We like to serve these with a red wine like Banfi’s Centine.
Chef’ secret: Marinated jars of bocconcini make a great hostess gift. Add some long strips of lemon peel and a tablespoon of black whole pepper corns to the jar.
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