The perfect finger food for an incredible music-filled, fun-filled, kid-friendly weekend such as this. What kid would not want fried mac and cheese and parents you will love that it is so easy for the kids to eat while you watch all the amazing artists perform.
- 250 g bucatini pasta
- 500 ml bechamel
- 125 g provola, cut in little cubes
- 100 g sweet peas (fresh, frozen, or in a jar)
- 125 g prosciutto cotto (ham) in 1 thick slice, cut in little cubes
- 1 small onion
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the bechamel:
- 500 ml milk (we used organic 2%)
- 100 g all-purpose flour
- 63 g unsalted butter
- grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
For the batter:
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 300 ml cold water
- salt and pepper to taste
For the sweet peas:
- Put the oil in a pan on low heat, add the minced onion and saute until translucent. Add the peas, salt, and pepper.
- Let the peas mingle with the onion, then add 1/4 cup of water. Cook until it is all evaporated and peas are tender but not too mushy. Set aside to cool.
For the bechamel sauce:
- Heat the milk in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Add the butter in a wok or deep saute pan on medium heat. As soon as it melts sprinkle the flour in, stirring with a whisk or a wooden spoon, to form the roux.
- Now add the warm milk slowly, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon or whisk to avoid any lumps (in case you have lumps, you can mix everything with an immersion blender or pass it through a sieve and it will come back smooth and velvety). Cook until it starts to bubble, then add the grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper. It is a dense bechamel, so don't worry if it looks too thick. Set aside to cool.
For the batter:
- Add the sifted flour in a medium bowl. Slowly add the water, stirring with a whisk to avoid the formation of lumps. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
For the macaroni and cheese:
- Put some salted water on boil, then add the bucatini, breaking each strand into three pieces. Cook for half of the cooking time to have them al dente. Drain and arrange them on a baking sheet to cool.
- Cut the ham and the provola into small cubes and pour into a large bowl.
- Add the sweet peas, the pasta, the béchamel and some pepper.
- Wash your hands well and mix everything (it will be much easier than using a spoon because the mixture is heavy and sticky).
- Pour everything into a baking dish that has a height of 5 cm. Level off, pressing down the mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight (we left it overnight).
- Take a cookie ring (or glass or cup or whatever you like) about 5-6 cm (2.5 inches) in diameter and cut rounds from the pan. Continue until all the pasta is finished, reshaping the scraps if necessary.
- Place a tall pot on the stove on medium-high heat with enough oil to submerge the pasta rounds.
- Dip the pasta rounds in the batter, then fry 2-3 at a time at 365° F, for about 2 minutes, turning rounds over at the 1-minute mark. Drain on paper towel.
- Grate some Parmigiano on top, once they come out of the oil. Eat them hot, or reheat in an oven on a baking sheet to crisp up.
You can freeze the pasta rounds, wrapped tightly in plastic and put into a ziplock bag. When you want to use them, thaw them, then dip them in the batter and fry them. In case you want to freeze some of them, reduce the quantity of the batter.
You can make them smaller but you might have to adjust the cooking time.
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Deep frying
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: deep fried festival food macaroni and cheese provola bechamel sweet peas prosciutto cotto finger food