Recipes

Supplì – Roman Fried Risotto Balls

23rd April 2017

A month ago I was in Rome for a few days to visit my parents and to eat the good food from my hometown. One of the tastiest dishes to eat in Rome is supplì, a classic Roman street food. I decided to recreate these fried risotto balls at home in London for a delicious antipasti spread paired with Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Roman style antipasti with Supplì - Roman Fried Risotto Balls

Supplì are made from risotto cooked with tomato sauce (sometimes ragout, with minced beef) then moulded into an oblong ball, coated in egg wash and breadcrumbs. These large risotto balls are then deep-fried and served piping hot.

Roman style antipasti with Supplì - Roman Fried Risotto Balls

When you break the supplì apart with your fingers you will find a surprise of melting mozzarella cheese that just makes it even more delicious!

Roman style antipasti with Supplì - Roman Fried Risotto Balls

Supplì in Rome are eaten as a snack on the go (you buy them from the rosticceria, a local deli) or as a small starter before a meal. You usually find them in the Antipasti (starters) or the Fritti sections of a restaurant’s menu. We have a long tradition for fried food in Rome. You can find almost anything battered and fried from olives to mozzarella cheese balls, from fried courgette flowers to the Roman classic of baccalà (cod fish).

Roman style antipasti with Supplì - Roman Fried Risotto Balls

I love supplì that are made with a lot of tomato sauce (otherwise they are just a bit dry) and a big chunk of mozzarella cheese inside. Sometimes they are made with ragout sauce, but I prefer the vegetarian ones.

They are so tasty, especially paired with Peroni Nastro Azzurro on a summer night. I have great memories of going out with my friends on a Saturday night, eating supplì and pizza at our local pizzeria, drinking cold beer. When I was asked by Peroni Italy to create my favourite food pairing for Nastro Azzurro beer, I thought these supplì would be perfect.

Supplì - Roman Fried Risotto Balls

Peroni Nastro Azzurro is one of Italy’s premium lagers, a beer with a distinctive flavour, loved all over the world. This beer has been brewed at the Peroni Brewery in Rome since 1963 using mais nostrano, an Italian corn variety. The original recipe for Peroni Nastro Azzurro has not been changed for more than half a century!

I am always happy to support successful Italian brands especially ones that are so representative of Italy abroad. Peroni Nastro Azzurro is an example of Italian craftsmanship, talent and passion.

Roman style antipasti with Supplì - Roman Fried Risotto BallsBruschetta al pomodoro

If you’d like to recreate these Roman starters for a dinner party, you can easily do so. I am sure your guests will love them!

All you need for a Roman-style antipasti spread is: homemade supplì, bruschetta with garlic and fresh tomatoes, Italian olives, sun dried tomatoes, and Grana Padano cheese. Serve the antipasti with Peroni Nastro Azzurro to get your dinner party started!

Roman style antipasti with Supplì - Roman Fried Risotto Balls

Ingredients

Makes 9 medium-sized supplì.

  • 150g arborio rice
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 glass Peroni Nastro Azzurro
  • 300g preserved chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 100g mozzarella cheese, cut in 2cm cubes
  • 150-200g breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

In a medium-sized saucepan, fry the onion with the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until softened. Splash with half a glass of Peroni Nastro Azzurro to infuse the risotto with its malty flavour. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the rice and stir for 1 minute to coat the grains. Add hot vegetable stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring and making sure each is absorbed before adding the next. Keep cooking and stirring (to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan) for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is al dente.

Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese and one egg, then season with salt and pepper. Spread the risotto on a lined tray and leave to rest for about 30 minutes. You can make risotto for supplì up to two days in advance.

Place two beaten eggs and the breadcrumbs in two separate shallow bowls. Use your hands to roll the cooled risotto into oblong balls, using about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each. Add a piece of mozzarella cheese in the centre of the risotto ball. Roll the ball in breadcrumbs, then egg, then in crumbs again, coating the balls really well. Repeat until you have used all the risotto. Leave to rest for about ten minutes until firm.

Half-fill a large frying pan with vegetable oil and heat the oil to 180-190°C. Fry the supplì for about three minutes until golden, turning them around half way through.

Transfer to a serving plate lined with kitchen paper. Serve immediately.

Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Peroni Nastro Azzurro. All opinions are my own. 

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