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Deep Fryed Mozzarella Cubes

Pizzaola Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed in press
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Mozzarella Cubes
1 pound Mozzarella cheese, cut in 36 1" cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
10 strands spaghetti, broken into 36 3-inch lengths
vegetable shortening or oil, for frying

To make the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. (The sauce can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.)
To make the cubes: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line one baking sheet with waxed paper, and another baking sheet with paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 365 degrees F.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in another shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl. One at a time, roll each mozzarella cube in the flour, dip in the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs. Set aside on the waxed paper. Deep-fry the spaghetti until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to the paper towels to drain and cool. In batches, without crowding, deep-fry the mozzarella cubes until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using the skimmer, transfer to the paper towels and keep warm in the oven while frying the rest.
To serve, spear each cube with a spaghetti stick. Serve immediately with a bowl of the warm sauce for dipping.
Makes 36 cubes. (4 to 6 appetizer servings)

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