Fried rice balls are popular in Italy. In Sicily they call them Arancini, and in Rome, where I’m from, they are Suppli. They have a tomato and mozzarella filling and are egg-shaped.
Makes: about 20
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp salt and pepper to taste
8 basil leaves
300g Italian Carnaroli or Arborio risotto rice
200-300g fresh mozzarella
Approx 150 g breadcrumbs
3-4 eggs, beaten and seasoned
1L sunflower/corn/olive oil
Warm the olive oil in a pan with the garlic. After two minutes add the passata, salt and pepper. Cook on a low-medium flame for 30 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally. Add the basil.
Add 200 ml of boiling water to the sauce, stir and add the risotto rice. Stir again, cover and cook on a low flame, stirring often for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked and the tomato sauce has been absorbed by the rice. Cool the rice on a platter or tray for about 20 minutes.
Dice the mozzarella into cubes of about 1-2 cm. Put the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl, and the breadcrumbs in another.
Take a spoonful of cooled risotto, put 2 cubes of mozzarella in the middle and with your hands, completely enclose the cheese in the rice, pushing it together to shape an egg-sized oblong ball. Gently roll it in the breadcrumbs, then the beaten egg, and again in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining rice and cheese.
Warm the oil in a frying pan. Slip the rice balls into the hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning them until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel. Wait 5 minutes before serving as they will be very hot.