Supplì are a staple in Roman street food, similar to the Sicilian arancini that we all know and love so well. The name supplì derives from the French word for surprise, probably due to the stringy, melted mozzarella centre - which is also the influence for their extended name supplì al telefono - referencing the cord of (an old) telephone that the melted cheese resembles.
Makes 10-12 supplì
For the truffle mayo
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 100ml extra mild olive oil, or vegetable oil
- 60ml Truffle oil
For the cacio e pepe risotto
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 eschallot
- 1 celery stick
- 100ml dry white wine
- 350g risotto rice
- 2 litres water
- 50 unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 100g Pecorino Romano, finely grated (plus extra to serve)
For the supplì
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 125g packet breadcrumbs
- 75g mozzarella (it’s important to use firm, melting mozzarella and not Buffalo mozzarella)
- Lots of vegetable oil for frying
- Grated Pecorino Romano to serve
For the truffle mayo
- Place the egg yolks into a bowl with the vinegar and a pinch of salt and whisk to combine.
- In a steady stream, slowly pour in the oils while whisking the eggs continuously to form an emulsion (i.e. mayo!).
- If you find the mayo is still a bit too runny, whisk in more oil until it thickens.
For the risotto
- Pop the eschallot and celery into a blender and give it whizz to form a paste.
- On a low heat, add the olive oil to a large pan, shortly followed by the eschallot and celery. Sauté gently for about 10 minutes.
- In another saucepan bring around 2 litres of water to a low simmer - this will act as your stock.
- Back to the main pan, add the white wine and let that cook for a few minutes before adding in the rice. Stir well to coat the rice in all of the beautiful juices in the pan. After a minute or so the rice will start to turn opaque - indicating this is when you need to start adding water.
- Add water one ladle at a time, stirring frequently to help bring out the starch in the rice. Never let the rice completely dry out before adding your next ladle. Continue adding water by the ladle until the rice is cooked through and with a very slight bite to it - around 15-20 minutes. The consistency shouldn’t be gloopy or clumpy - you should be able to use a spoon to part the risotto and it quickly fall back to the centre.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, ground black pepper and grated Pecorino Romano. Stir to combine and check for seasoning.
- Spread the risotto in an even layer on a baking sheet, press some cling film over the top to stop a skin from forming, then cool in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Shaping the supplì
- Cut the mozzarella into small, thumbnail sized cubes and set aside.
- Get three bowls at the ready, fill one with the flour, one with the eggs (beaten), and one with the breadcrumbs.
- Take a really heaped tablespoon of the cooled risotto and place it in the palm of your hand, creating a little dimple in its centre.
- Pop one of the mozzarella cubes in the centre, then shape the rice around it into a ball.
- Repeat until you’ve used all of the risotto.
- Place the supplì on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze for 15 minutes before moving onto coating.
- Working with one at a time, dredge the supplì in flour and shake off any excess, then into the eggs, and finally into the breadcrumbs.
- Place back onto the baking sheet and continue with the rest of your supplì. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat enough vegetable oil in a deep saucepan so that your supplì will be totally submerged.
- Once it reaches a temperature of 325F (163C) and working in batches, carefully drop a few supplì into the hot oil (make sure not to overcrowd the pan) and fry for 5-6 minutes, gently moving them around from time to time, until they are evenly golden and crispy.
- Remove from the oil, place onto kitchen paper and sprinkle with good sea salt.
- Continue with the rest of the supplì.
- Serve on top of a dollop of the truffle mayo and with a smattering of grated Pecorino Romano.
This recipe was created by Gabriella from @_noregrettispaghetti, check out Gabriella's instagram page here or website here.
Gabriella is a Londoner born to Armenian/Canadian parents, with a love of all things Italian, especially pasta. She fell in love with food between the pages of her mum’s Reader’s Digest cookbooks, and at the table of her grandmother’s Cypriot kitchen, watching dolma be rolled and lahmajun made.
When she’s not making her favourite carb, she can be found sharing some of her recipes on her blog, drinking far too much coffee, or hanging out with her dog, Gordon.