Tomato and mozzarella Supplì

Serves Icon
Time 25 Minutes
  • 500g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1 tablespoon (20ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large onion, finely chopped
  • 750ml hot vegetable stock
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated (alternatively, use Grana Padano)
  • 3 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 250g dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g mozzarella, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
Italian tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1kg ripe Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped (alternatively 800g San Marzano canned tomatoes, chopped) – see note in step 1
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Large pinch sea salt

Requires: Food mill

How to Make It
Step 1

To make the Italian tomato sauce, place the olive oil in a heavy-based stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes to soften the onion. Add the Roma tomatoes (or San Marzano canned tomatoes). Bring to the boil, then add the basil, sugar and salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the sauce does not stick to the pot and burn, then remove from the heat.

Note: Roma tomatoes need to be ripe and flavorsome for this recipe. Use quality fresh Roma tomatoes only in the summer months of the year. Alternatively, use San Marzano canned tomatoes.

Step 2

Prepare your food mill over a bowl. Ladle the cooked tomato sauce into the food mill and stir to collect the lovely tomato pulp and juice in the bowl. Discard any tomato skins and seeds that are left in the food mill.

Step 3

To make the tomato risotto (the rice base for the Supplì), heat 1 tablespoon (20ml) olive oil in a large, deep-frying pan (or stockpot) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes to soften the onion. Stir in the rice and after 2 minutes, pour in one ladleful of the hot vegetable stock and one ladleful of the Italian tomato sauce, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, until all the liquid has been absorbed. When the stock has been absorbed, stir in another ladleful of the vegetable stock and tomato sauce. Continue to add a ladleful of stock and Italian tomato sauce, stirring and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next until the rice is ‘al dente’ (approximately 18 minutes).

Step 4

Remove the frying pan (or stockpot) from the heat. Stir the Parmigiano Reggiano and basil into the risotto.

Step 5

Transfer the risotto mixture to a 3cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm baking tray. Cover the baking tray with cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Tip: To save time on the day of cooking Supplì, complete steps 1-5 to cook the Italian Tomato sauce and make the Tomato Risotto the night beforehand.

Step 6

Place the dried breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Use a fork to lightly whisk the eggs in a second bowl.

Step 7

To make the Supplì, take a large spoonful of the risotto. Use wet hands to press the risotto down and make it into a flattened log shape. Place the mozzarella cubes in the middle, then mould the risotto mixture around the mozzarella to completely enclose, shaping with your hands to form logs approximately 9 x 3.5 cm in size. Dip 1 Supplì in beaten egg mixture to completely cover, then coat in breadcrumbs. Place the Supplì onto a plate. Repeat using the remaining risotto, mozzarella and coat with egg and breadcrumbs which should make 25 Supplì in total.

Step 8

Pour enough sunflower oil into a saucepan to reach a depth of 5cm. Heat the saucepan over medium heat to reach a temperature of (165-170°C). Alternatively if you don’t have a thermometer, the oil is ready when a pinch of breadcrumbs sizzles when dropped in the saucepan.

Step 9

Cook the Supplì, in batches of 4, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Serve immediately – buon appetito.

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