Rocco DiSpirito's Crispy Mozzarella Sticks Fra Diavolo

Aired March 5, 2010

Serves Serves 4
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, such as Ian's All-Natural
3 large egg whites
8 reduced-fat mozzarella sticks, such as Polly-O 2% Milk Natural Reduced-Fat Mozzarella
Garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
1 cup fra diavolo pasta sauce, such as Victoria

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet, and set it aside.

Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the panko in another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks.

Working in batches, dredge the mozzarella sticks in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the mozzarella sticks to the egg whites and toss to coat completely. Add the mozzarella sticks, a few pieces at a time, to the panko and coat completely.

Spread the breaded cheese sticks out on the wire rack. Season them generously with garlic salt and pepper, and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake until the breading is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted throughout, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the pasta sauce in the microwave or in a small saucepan for 2 minutes, or until it is hot.

Serve the mozzarella sticks with the sauce for dipping.

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