Fried stuffed paccheri pasta is a fabulous dish that will amaze your guests with its original deliciousness. A fresh tomato sauce seasoned with basil as a base, pasta stuffed with mouth-watering aubergines and stringy mozzarella, tasty, crispy breadcrumbs that will enchant you right from the first bite… this recipe really does have what it takes to get any lucky person who has the pleasure of tasting it, totally addicted! And that is precisely why, after having tried it during my recent summer holidays in Campania, we have decided to tell you about it in our very own version.
A little laborious yes, but all in all simple to prepare, fried paccheri stuffed with aubergine and mozzarella cheese with a tomato sauce are inspired by a Neapolitan recipe. The schiaffoni – as they are popularly called in Naples – are a real treat that will tempt you time and again.
The size and full-bodied texture make paccheri the perfect pasta shape to accommodate a creamy, mouth-watering filling, where the delicacy of the béchamel sauce marries divinely with the strong flavour of the buffalo cheese and aubergines. Closing the circle of flavours, comes the tomato sauce, with all its sweetly acidic aroma.
Another undeniable quality of stuffed fried paccheriis their versatility: it’s up to you whether to serve them as finger food during an aperitif – perhaps as a single portion served in a small glass, as an appetiser or as a tasty and alternative first course. What’s guaranteed is that, either way, success is assured. One last piece of advice before we leave you to the recipe: make plenty, one fried stuffed pacchero leads to another!
Fried paccheri pasta in a tomato sauce, stuffed with aubergines and mozzarella – the recipe
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
- 12 paccheri pasta shapes
- 125 g buffalo mozzarella cheese
- 200 g béchamel sauce (if you like you can prepare it at home following this method at https://magazine.palazzetti.it/cannelloni-al-radicchio-patate-e-scamorza/)
- 200 g aubergine
- 300 g canning tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 eggs
- 100 g breadcrumbs
- A few basil leaves
- A small amount of Grana cheese
- salt and extra virgin olive oil as desired
- vegetable oil for frying
- To prepare the fried stuffed paccheri start with the tomato sauce. Wash the tomatoes and cut an ‘x’ at one end, plunge them into boiling water and boil them for a couple of minutes, just long enough for the skin to be easily removed.
- Peel the tomatoes and chop them coarsely.
- Heat a little oil with a clove of garlic, add the tomatoes, season with salt and leave to cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
- Once cooked, add the basil, remove the garlic and transfer the sauce to the blender and blend until smooth. Keep warm and set aside.
- Then cook the paccheri pasta in plenty of boiling salted water, draining 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Once drained, place them on a tray and let them cool.
- It is now time to prepare the filling for the fried paccheri. Start with the aubergine, cut into small cubes and transfer them to a frying pan, season with a little oil and salt to taste; cook over medium heat until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, chop up the mozzarella and in a bowl mix into the béchamel sauce. Once the aubergine cubes are cooked, add to the béchamel mixture.
- Transfer the aubergine béchamel filling into a piping bag and use it to stuff the pre-cooked paccheri. Once all the pasta shapes are filled, start preparing the breadcrumbs.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Dip each stuffed pasta shape first in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs, repeating the operation so as to obtain a double coating that will ensure the filling is well sealed inside each one. Continue in this way until all the paccheri are filled.
- Fry the aubergine-filled paccheri in plenty of boiling hot oil (use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature doesn’t exceed 170°C), a few at a time, turning them every so often. Once golden brown, drain on kitchen roll.
- Serve the fried paccheri by placing them on a bed of tomato sauce and finish with a few fresh basil leaves and slivers of Grana cheese. Enjoy!
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