Supplì al Telefono
Updated: Jun 6
What? Delicious ass Roman street food
that makes Arancini look weak AF
Who? I am not known for my cooking
talents. If I can do it, you can.
Where? Current Status: Sussex
Why? Delicious. Ass. Roman. Street. Food. How? There’s a lot of wine leftover. I’d
also suggest Reno Gaetano radio.
When? It was 2006 and I had just had
my very first Romanacci hangover… (continued below because I love you and ingredients will remain on the first page for ease):
- Arborio rice, 250 grams (9 ounces) ~ 1.25 cups
- One can of peeled whole tomatoes, 400 grams (14 ounces) and/or some delicious
- Vegetable or meat broth, 400ml (1 3/4 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, diced small
- 1 celery stick, diced small
- ½ large white onion, diced small
- I used red because it was all I had and it was fine
- Two large eggs, beaten
- Two large eggs, beaten (separate)
- Parmesan cheese, grated, 3 tablespoons
- High temp cooking oil (sunflower, etc.), 3 tablespoons
- Ground veal, 120 grams (4 1/4 ounces)*
- OR some beef/chicken bouillon (2 cubes)
- Mozzarella, 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces)
- "di Bufala" is always best if you can get your hands on some, but standard will do
- Bread crumbs, about 1 cup.
- Italian style is great, or crush your own and add Italian seasoning
- Vegetable oil for frying (may need up to 1L depending on your pot size for frying)
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup Flour * optional
- about 3/4 cup white wine
It was 2006 and I had just had my very first Romanacci hangover……and boy did I feel like crappazola. I stumbled half-awake through the winding streets of Trastevere in search of my coveted potato pizza in the almost hidden opening in the ancient brick. Alas, upon arrival I found there was no more. I was distraught, and as my puffy eyes drifted up towards the sky in a plea for help – there it was: a little sign behind the antique man sported a word written in elementary scribble: “Supplì €2.50”. I ordered, not able to stomach the idea of the bilious and oil drenched salsicce slathered across the dough in front of me. A cracked hand pulled waxed paper and caressingly surrounded what seemed an oblong potato with its fingers, gently. He handed it to me with shrouded eyes - perhaps those of scorn - and aloof to his pretenses I smelled the fried breadcrumbs and the cheesy interior, biting in through marinara and soft rice to where I found and exclaimed, “Mozzarella!” Like a poached yolk it broke apart and melted into my mouth and the world before it faded away like the creeping eddies of the Tiber and the morning sun rose above the hills of Roma and the birds sang through the fissured trees of Villa Pamphili and all was right in the world. The pounding in my head was no longer, and instead there was a peace and a warmth not even felt by the babes held forever in their mother’s arms. I had found Supplì at last…
- Heat up 1.5 cubes bouillon (I used beef) and the 1 ¾ cups water to make the broth,
adding four of the tomatoes from the can of peeled tomatoes.
- When it is heated to ~ boiling, add the Arborio rice. Stir relatively constantly on a high
simmer until the Arborio has soaked in the broth but is still al dente (usually around
- Remove the rice from heat and mix in two of the beaten eggs and the three tablespoons of grated parm (I mixed them together beforehand). Let cool on the side
- Simmer the onions, celery and carrots on high in high temp cooking oil.
- Add remaining tomatoes and juice from the can into the veggies, as well as the wine and salt. Throw in some pepper if you are feeling risqué.
- (My mother and I had a miscommunication and she made her homemade marinara sauce while I was cooking this. It landed up being a great addition. I landed up not putting the rest of the tomato can in (and instead used about ¾ cup of this instead), so it was extra magical).
- Add ground veal to sauté until cooked through.
- * OR add the remaining ½ cube of bouillion
- (Here I just put all the stock remains of a chicken from the day before and cooked that down with the bouillon covered for about 5 minutes so the flavor would stick around and later removed the meat, further cooking the veggies).
- Simmer uncovered on low until the sauce is nice and thick, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- (When done, if you don’t like the thicker consistency you can use a hand blender to soften it up a bit. Because there isn’t a ton of product to work with, I’d recommend pouring into a smaller deeper pot to do this so you don’t create a sizzling Polk painting on your skin or walls).
- While the sauce is cooking cut the mozzarella into 1 centimeter (1/3 inch) cubes.
- Take a small amount of rice in your hands and roll into oblong balls. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the rice mixture.
- Use your finger to make a hole in each rice ball, just large enough to insert a small spoonful of meat/veggie sauce and one or two cubes of mozzarella. Make sure to reseal each hole firmly.
- Start heating up the veggie oil in a pot deep enough to just cover the suppli
- Dip the rice balls in the beaten eggs, then roll in the bread crumbs
- (Here you could put the flour. I forgot and it worked out just fine without it)
- (I couldn’t find Italian breadcrumbs in Sussex, so I bought some Panko and added salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and crushed the breadcrumbs down. I even threw some fresh basil in for fun).
- Make sure that the oil is not too hot so that it takes a little while to simmer. This ensures the outside doesn’t burn, but the mozzarella inside gets all gooey and "al telefono".
- Fry a few rice balls at a time in enough oil to just cover the rice balls.
- Turn occasionally and when the supplì al telefono are golden and crunchy on the outside drain on newspaper covered with paper towels.
- (Perhaps cut into the first one to double check if your temp is good. You want some bubbling when you put them in but don’t want them to turn brown super fast. I found ~ 5 minutes to reach golden seemed to be a good temp).
- Serve the supplì al telefono immediately. If you can’t, put in oven on low warm and
cover in the paper towels that had the oil to make sure they don’t dry out.
- If you have a bunch of leftover of the veggie/meat sauce, you can serve on the side to dip it in because it is de-lish. I added some cayenne to spice it up (not required).
Thank You to These Two Lovely Websites for Their Input: