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Monday, April 8, 2013

Neapolitan Risotto Balls (Palle di Riso)

Pall'e Riso or balls of rice are a classic street food sold all over Naples, Italy. They are essentially Rice croquettes made from left over risotto. I can not wait to return to Naples in May I love love the down to earth people and food and  believe they are simply the best in Italy : )
Ingredients (For about a dozen or so balls)
left over risotto (2 cups) I make a double batch for dinner and set half aside the night before )
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan (If the risotto already has Parmesan than add only a tablespoon or so)
1/4 cup grated or preferably diced mozzarella
2-3 few slices of salami or ham diced (This dish is already very rich so just a little bit of meat goes a long way)
2-3 tablespoons chopped very fine parsley
optional: 1 teaspoon truffle oil (This makes them heavenly!)
For coating: 2 eggs beaten, 1 cup plain panko bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup flour
olive oil for frying
Mix the risotto (If you are cooking the risotto just for this recipe first refrigerate allowing it to cool and set) along with the egg, cheeses, parsley, optional truffle oil, and meat.
Set up the dipping station by placing 3 shallow bowls in this order: Flour, Egg, Bread Crumbs
Heat up 3 inches of oil in a frying pan and set up a paper towel lined plate near by.
Now take enough risotto to make a golf ball sized ball and roll gently, this mixture is very tender.
Dip in flour shake off, egg shake off, and finally bread crumbs. If working alone I like to set up a piece of wax paper and dip all the eggs first in flour and set aside n wax paper, then dip all in egg setting up on wax paper etc... this is best when working alone but if you have  helper it goes much smoother and quicker : )
Now fry on each side until very very golden golden brown.  Drain on towels and they are ready to mangia!
Note : These can be made ahead and kept in a lowest setting oven on a rack lined pan until ready to serve. In Italy they are eaten alone but sometimes in the states they are served with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

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