When you live with one other person and you like to cook, it’s pretty much guaranteed you will end up with leftovers. Lots of them. And when that other person you live with doesn’t love eating leftovers night after night, and you cannot bring yourself to throw away food, you’re left with a bit of a conundrum.
Many of said leftovers wind up as the next day’s lunch. But when you have, say, several pounds of leftover risotto, lunch isn’t really gonna do it, unless you want to have risotto for lunch every day, for eternity.
So what to do…? In such situations, creativity sets in: leftover spaghetti turns into crispy noodle cakes, veggies re-emerge as omelet fillings and, in the case of Sunday’s leftovers, risotto becomes suppli al telefono, Italian fried risotto balls.
I tried suppli for the fist time in Rome on a trip with my brother, and we both fell in love with them (and ate so many that my brother started sweating and could barely breath). At home, I’ve found them only at 2 Amy’s in DC, and I get them nearly every time I go (which, sadly, is only a handful of times each year).
Making suppli is pretty straightforward. You take some leftover risotto (an amount a little bigger than the size of a golf ball), stick a cube of mozzarella in the center of the ball, roll the ball in flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs and then fry the suckers.
In my case, I decided to bake them instead of frying them. Sacrilege, I know. But it was a work night, it was late, and I was tired. The thought of dealing with deep-frying and the cleanup was very, very unappealing.
Did the suppli suffer for it? Slightly, but not much. Fried suppli have a crispier exterior, and you can eat them with your fingers without creating a total mess. I think I prefer them that way. Baked suppli are a little more delicate and were best eaten with a fork, but the taste was still fantastic. After all, how bad could cheese-stuffed risotto be, really?
And whichever way you decide to make them, I assure you, no one will feel like they’re eating leftovers.