Italian rice balls or supplì “on the phone”
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If you’ve never been in Italy I’m quite sure you don’t know this recipe because it’s very italian and it’s really hard to find them outside Italy. Actually, outside of Rome (in Sicily you can find the arancini but the recipe is really different). I’m talking about the supplì, a quintessential Roman appetizer and one of Rome’s best street foods which consists of fried rice balls filled with mozzarella. I literally adore the supplì and if you’re in Rome you cannot skip them.
Trust me, this recipe is easy and very very rewarding and it’s really local; the supplì also called “supplì al telefono” or “supplì on the phone” because if you open them while they’re still warm the mozzarella cheese melts completely and this allows the two parts of the supplì to stay “together” like cables of a telephone.
Italian rice balls: ingredients for 6 supplì
200 grams of risotto rice
150 grams of tomato sauce
80 grams of ground beef
1/2 glass of red wine
Oil for frying
Vegetable broth / hot water
Italian rice balls: recipe
1. Make the sauce frying the ground beef then adding the red wine and the tomato sauce leaving it cook for a while. Prepare your risotto cooking the rice directly into the sauce and diluted it with vegetable broth or hot water. Leave all the cooking liquids withdraw (or drain it if it can not to withdraw for good) before transferring the rice in a large bowl. Let the rice cool down for good after having adjusted with salt and black pepper (that’s this reason why the rice should always be made in advance).
2. Beat the eggs and cut the mozzarella into strips or cubes.
3. Take a handful of rice with oily hands and put a little bit of mozzarella in the middle of it closing in such a way as to give an oval shape to the rice ball.
4. Soak each rice ball into the beaten eggs then in bread crumbs, being careful not to break them.
5. Heat the oil and cook the rice balls until they will be golden externally. Drain and serve hot.
Tip: The rice should not be mushy or overcooked but “al dente” and it should be quite peppery. DO NOT salt your eggs otherwise your rice will broke completely at the time of frying. You should add salt when frying is completed.