Whether you’re watching the Rugby World Cup or the last races of the F1 season, the first day of the jump season or the race for the Premiership title, Suppli are the ultimate sporting snack as they’re very easy to eat, extremely moorish and go really well with a cold Italian beer. Here’s our friend’s recipe for these mouthfuls of joy from our latest book ‘Rome – Centuries in an Italian Kitchen’.
Supplì al Telefono
Hot Rice Fritters Stuffed with Mozzarella
Makes 10 – 12 (large supplì)
In our opinion Arcangelo Dandini makes the best supplì in Rome, and we have eaten a few! Breadcrumbed fritters the shape of fat sausages are made out of cheesy, tomato risotto and are filled with mozzarella. As they are served straight from the fryer, melting strings of cheese ooze out of them when they are bitten into resembling Rome’s telegraph wires known as suppli. He told us that to make his famous supplì, the cheese inside needs to reach 140°C (280°F) to melt perfectly.
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
25 g (1 oz) salted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g (14 oz) risotto rice (carnaroli or arborio)
1.2 litre homemade hot chicken or vegetable stock
200 ml (7 fl oz)
Sugo Finto tomato sauce, cooled
1 x 125 g (4 oz) mozzarella ball (buffalo or cow’s milk), diced
sunflower oil, for frying
plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
120 g (4 oz) fine breadcrumbs
In a large high-sided frying pan, fry the onion in the olive oil, butter, salt and pepper over a medium heat for around 5 minutes until soft and translucent – don’t let it become coloured. Add the rice and stir through so that the grains are coated in oil. Pour in the hot stock in one go and bring to the boil. Cook the rice over a medium heat until it is very soft and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir frequently and be careful not to let it catch on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and pour on to a clean baking tray to cool. Stir it around frequently to help it to cool down quickly; you want it to cool within an hour to reduce any risk of bacteria.
Once the risotto has reached room temperature, add the tomato sauce and work it into the rice with your hands to break it down until it feels sticky and malleable. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Form oblong-shaped rice balls with your hands, roughly the size of a large egg. Using your finger make a hole in the centre of each ball and stuff a small cube of mozzarella in the centre. Close the hole over and squeeze tightly between your hands shaping it into a fat sausage shape.
Fill a saucepan with enough sunflower oil to cover the supplì, but make sure the oil fills no more than half of the pan. For best results, use a small pan and fry the supply one at a time, but you can use a larger pan and cook several at once too. Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F).
Put some flour, the beaten egg and the breadcrumbs each into separate bowls. Dip and gently roll the rice balls first in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs to coat all sides. Using a slotted spoon, gently place them in the hot oil in small batches.
Fry for 2–3 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Remove with the slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper for a couple of minutes before serving immediately; the mozzarella should be stringy and melted inside.