Italian rice balls

stovetopI got this recipe when I was living in Syracuse, New York, and through the extremely snowy winters, these lovely suppli were great comfort food, especially when served with something else a touch decadent like fettuccini Florentine. They’re also the first dish I think of when I’m making a meal for someone who’s just had a baby or surgery—not that those things are equal at all, just that suppli is great to have on hand for a small snack or larger meal! If you want them to be truly vegetarian, you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.


4–6 tablespoons olive oil

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 onion, diced

2 lbs canned tomato pieces and juice

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

3-4 c. strong broth

2 cups short- or medium-grain rice

1 egg beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

8 oz mozzarella, cut into 1” cubes

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs


Saute garlic cloves in 4 T olive oil until brown, then remove cloves.

Add onion and cook until translucent, adding more olive oil as needed.

Add tomato pieces and juice, basil, parsley, whatever other spices you want, rice, and the broth. Simmer 10–15 minutes.

Add rice, stir, cover and cook on low for 20–30 minutes, until rice is fully cooked. Remove from heat and stir in egg, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Let cool until you can hold it in your hands without burning yourself.

Shape rice mixture into small bowls, fill the hollow with a mozzarella cube, cover with additional rice and shape into a ball.

In a large pot, heat oil for frying until almost smoking. Roll balls in bread crumbs and deep fry until golden brown. Let rest briefly on some paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Serve warm and melty.


  1. Tweets that mention Italian rice balls « Trans/plant/portation -- - May 17, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by R Kitchen UR Oven, Everett M. Everett M said: My well-worn recipe for Italian stuffed rice balls. They're more than worth making. […]

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