Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Recipe courtesy Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh.
- 1⁄3 lb rigatoni pasta (about 40 pieces)
- 4 ounces easy melting American cheese (recommended -- Velveeta)
- 1⁄2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 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
- frilly toothpick
- 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.
- Cook's Note: Since these are time consuming and since they freeze well, it's worth making a larger batch than needed and storing them.
You are right, these are time consuming and almost frustrating at times! I loved them, but not so sure I'll take the time doing it again, but who knows I day may come when I crave them.