Bertucci's Corporation, a casual-dining chain, owns a collection of full-service Italian restaurants that operate under the name "Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzeria." During the early years of the 21st century there were roughly 80 Bertucci's restaurants scattered throughout the northeastern United States, each of which featured wood-fired brick ovens, which cook hotter than conventional pizza ovens, and served Tuscan-styled food, including gourmet pizzas, salads, soups, seafood, and pasta dishes. Founded in suburban Boston by Joseph Crugnale, Bertucci's expanded quickly during the 1980s and 1990s, growing from a single restaurant in 1981 to a sprawling restaurant chain by the mid-1990s. N.E. Restaurant Co. Inc., Bertucci's owner since 1998, adopted the Bertucci's name in 2001.

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Mozzarella Fritta


MOZZARELLA FRITTA
Bertucci's Copycat Recipe

1 lb. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
flour
seasoned breadcrumbs
olive oil for frying
basil
tomato sauce for dipping


Place the mozzarella pieces in a bag with a few tablespoons of the flour. Shake the bag with the mozzarella to coat each piece with the flour. Dip each piece, individually, into the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs, coating each piece completely.

Place on a rack to dry. When dry, dip the breaded pieces into the beaten egg again, and then into the breadcrumbs, for a second coating, Place on a rack and allow to dry.

Fill a small saucepan with the olive oil to about 1 1/2 inches from the top, and heat to deep frying temperatures. Fry a few pieces at a time until they are deep brown. Drain on absorbent paper toweling. Continue until all pieces are fried. Serve with a light dusting of basil and a tomato sauce for dipping.


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