- Cooking Time:
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BackstoryCourtesy of: Dan and Steve
Since these are time consuming and since they freeze well, it's worth making a larger batch than needed and storing them.
- Salt, for pasta water
- 1/3 pound rigatoni (about 40 pieces)
- 4 ounces easy melting American Cheese, Velveeta (I don't like processed cheese, so maybe try cheddar, fontina or gruyere)
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water, for egg wash
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Special equipment: frilly toothpicks
- Fill a saucepan halfway with water and place over high heat.
- Bring to a boil and salt the water liberally.
- Add the rigatoni and cook 9 to 11 minutes, until al dente.
- Drain, rinse well under cold water and set aside.
- Cut the block of cheese into 1/2-inch slices and cut each slice into 4 equal pieces lengthwise. Cut each piece in half. You should have 40 pieces.
- Slide 1 piece of the cheese into each rigatoni (the size should be near perfect.)
- Pour the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and parsley into a small bowl and mix well.
- Working in small batches, put the stuffed rigatoni into the egg wash first, then roll in the bread crumb mixture.
- Place in a sealable container (they can be stacked on top of each other).
- Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
- Pour the vegetable oil into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Test by dropping a cube of bread into the oil; if it turns golden within 1 minute the oil is ready.
- Working in batches of 6 to 8 and using a slotted spoon, carefully drop the rigatoni into the oil.
- Fry for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the bread crumbs are a golden brown.
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- Repeat until all of the rigatoni have been fried.
- Keep warm in the preheated oven.
- To serve, skewer 1 piece of the mac and cheese and a cherry tomato half with a frilly toothpick.
- Serve while still warm.
- You must SAVE this recipe