Olive Garden is known for its delectable Italian menu items, including appetizers. For those who want to go beyond breadsticks, this copycat Stuffed Ziti Fritta is crispy, cheesy and packed with flavors. Cooked rigatoni pasta is stuffed with a delicious cheese mixture and then fried to golden perfection!
1/4cupParmesan cheese(grated, plus more for serving)
oil for frying
Optional for Serving
Cook the Pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt.
Add pasta and cook until al dente (2 minutes less than the recommended time from the package).
Drain the pasta and add olive oil. Stir to coat. Set aside to cool.
Make the Filling & Stuff the Pasta
While your pasta is cooking, you can make the filling. In a large bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella, cream cheese, parmesan, and Romano cheese. Stir until combined.
Spoon the cheese mixture into a zip-top bag. Seal the bag and cut the corner.
Pipe the cheese mixture into one side of the rigatoni. Flip and pipe the other side to fill.
Place the filled rigatoni pasta on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
Fry the Stuffed Pasta
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot until it reaches 350°F.
Place eggs, flour, and bread crumbs into 3 separate bowls.
Place a stuffed rigatoni into the flour to coat, then shake off excess flour. Dip it in the beaten egg with a fork. Then roll the rigatoni in bread crumbs to coat. Repeat with the rest of the rigatoni.
Carefully lower 5-6 pieces of breaded rigatoni into the hot oil using a slotted spoon. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the cheeses just start to ooze out.
Remove to a plate lined with paper towels using a slotted spoon. Repeat with the rest of the rigatoni.
Sprinkle with parmesan and optional chopped parsley. Serve with marinara sauce or Alfredo sauce.
It’s best to use Rigatoni pasta as it’s shorter and wider than ziti.
Make sure the cream cheese is softened before mixing.
Cook extra pasta in case some rip and break apart.