Recipe: Noel Cimadon | Images: Ashlee DeCaires 

This was a very inexpensive dinner we had as kids. We always loved it. My mother would have cooked a big batch of tomato sauce at the time and frozen it in portion sizes, but a store bought one or a good quality passata will be fine.

8 slices bread (old toast bread is great)
320g mozzarella, sliced or grated
2 tomatoes, sliced
120g champagne ham
fresh basil
1–2 tbsp flour
2 eggs
oil for frying
simple pasta tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese

Place the bread slices onto the bench and make sandwiches, evenly spreading the tomato slices, ham, basil leaves and mozzarella. Dip the edges of the sandwich in flour and then a little water. This seals the sandwich and prevents it leaking during the frying process.

Beat the eggs and then dip the sandwiches in. Heat the oil in a heavy pan or deep fryer, ideally to 180°C. Deep fry the sandwiches in the oil until golden. Place the fried sandwiches onto paper napkins to soak up excess oil and serve hot topped with the warmed tomato sauce, grated fresh Parmesan and extra basil leaves.

Tomato Sauce
Dice some shallots and fry in a pan with olive oil until slightly coloured. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and simmer on low to reduce (approx. 30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, plus chilli if you like it spicy.

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