Friday 22 April 2016

Supplí al telefono

30 minutes to prepare  minutes to cookServes 4

Calli bollenti! Supplì di riso!


It is about 200 years old, but it does not show it.
It is the youngest among traditional Roman recipes, and it is the king of street food: supplí, or better, in capital letters, His Majesty the Supplì.
Because it is indeed the undisputed king of quick snacks or tasty appetizers coming before a nice pizza.

It was born as a popular and cheap preparation, but over time it won a place of honor in elegant tea parties and often in old and noble palaces of Rome, offered by waiters in white gloves, arranged in pyramidal compositions that ennoble its gastronomic mission, giving pleasure to the eye, too.

The first news about supplí goes back to the early 19th century, when Rome was full of French soldiers. One of them, certainly appreciating it a lot, called this breaded and fried rice ball, the surprise, because he discovered the content only by opening it. Roman dialect transformed the foreign definition, surprise, in the more picturesque word supplí.

Here are ingredients for a 4-serving recipe (10 supplí):


200 g Carnaroli rice
200 g tomato passata
100 g ground beef meat
half onion
15 g butter
50 g grated Parmesan cheese
125 g mozzarella cheese
10 g dried porcini mushrooms
2 eggs
half glass red wine (here Sfursat red wine)
1 l seed oil
flour 00
EVO oil

  1. Soak porcini mushrooms in warm water and let them soften for 10 minutes
  2. Prepare the ragù sauce: chop the onion, heat 4 tablespoons of EVO oil in the bottom of a pan and fry the chopped onion until soft. Add the ground meat and allow to cook until the meat becomes golden. Add the wine and let it evaporate, then add porcini mushrooms, drained and chopped
  3. Add the tomato passata and allow to simmer until the meat and sauce are unified (about 1 hour). Stir occasionally and add salt during the last 5 minutes of cooking
  4. Meanwhile, boil the rice and drain it al dente. Keep it aside in a large bowl
  5. Beat one egg in a small bowl and keep aside
  6. When the ragù sauce is ready, season the rice with butter, grated Parmesan cheese, 4 tablespoons of ragù sauce, the beaten egg and a pinch of pepper. Stir to mix well
  7. Distribute the rice over a large plate, pressing it until obtaining a layer about 3 cm thick. Let it cool down for 10 minutes (I placed it in the fridge to accelerate the process)
  8. Cut mozzarella cheese into cubes and and place it in a colander to drain
  9. Beat the other egg in a small bowl, too
  10. Prepare supplí: take a small handful of the rice and place in your palm creating an indentation in the center. Place few pieces of mozzarella cheese in the center, and wrap the rice around the cheese creating an oblong shape. Continue to use up all the rice in the same manner making more supplí, placing the finished ones on a baking sheet
  11. Take each rice ball and first roll in flour, then dip into the egg, and finally roll in breadcrumbs
  12. Heat the seed oil in a heavy saucepan to 180°C
  13. Deep fry 3 or 4 supplí at a time until crisp and golden brown (about 3 minutes). Then, use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil, and place on a tray covered in paper towels...serve super hot!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

These rice balls are called al telefono - which means "on the phone" - because when supplì is hot, the mozzarella inside becomes stringy and looks like the cord between the telephone and its handset...when telephones were not cordless

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