Italian Suppli al Telefono Recipe


Arancini, or Suppli, are great party appetizers as they can be prepared ahead of time, frozen, and then thawed and fried when needed. Arancini or arancine are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs and are said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century. Arancini are usually filled with ragù, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas. In Roman cuisine, supplì are similar, but more commonly filled just with cheese.

There are many variations of the Roman rice balls but tradition has it that this extremely crisp and tasty croquette of rice is served with a veal ragu and peas enriched further by a cube of mozzarella plant. And it is precisely the mozzarella that will transform the normal supplì into a supplì “on the phone”. Thanks to the heat of frying, the mozzarella in the center will melt and when the croquette is broken it will become stringy. The mozzarella wire will join the two parts of the croquette emulating a real telephone connection between two handsets.

Ingredients and preparation

Few ingredients but of quality for this delicious croquette. The dough consists of boiled rice (preferably from the day before), veal ragout, fresh peas and mozzarella. The supplì is then breaded in egg and breadcrumbs and subsequently fried in abundant and hot seed oil. Obviously, it must be consumed immediately, boiling! Otherwise, it will no longer be a supplì “on the phone”.

I often make a double batch of these tasty rice balls and freeze them to serve at our weekly wine tasting with guests. Arancini can be stuffed with a number of different options, but with this version, I used a tomato flavored risotto, and then stuffed the rice balls with chunks of an Umbrian cheese much like Brie. When the rice balls are fried, the outer coating gets crisp and brown, while the rice inside stays creamy with a melted cheese center.


If the Roman supplì on the phone is the traditional one, over time there have been several interpretations. One of the most prepared variants is the one that replaces the normal boiled rice with yellow rice with saffron often to be reused and exploited to avoid waste.

Not only that, remaining in Lazio one of the most popular supplì is that of carbonara. A croquette that manages to combine two of the most traditional preparations, for this reason, a perfect marriage that is able to conquer everyone. The bacon, the pecorino, and the abundant pepper will replace the meat sauce and the peas, transforming the supplì into a bomb of flavor.

Obviously, there are variants for all tastes and needs. Each reinterpretation varies from region to region, perhaps exploiting local products. Not only that, so that everyone can enjoy the supplì there are vegan and vegetarian variants, in short, it’s cheap street food but really suitable for everyone!

Italy is most likely the country with the best culinary traditions in the world. The food tour in the country is a must. If you decide to visit Rome and its surroundings, among the many typical gastronomic proposals you must absolutely try the supplì “on the phone”.

Italian Suppli al Telefono Recipe

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 40 mins
Servings: 6
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


To prepare ahead of time, simply shape and bread the arancini, then place it on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, place them in airtight plastic bags and store them in the freezer for up to three months. When needed, completely thaw the arancini and fry just before serving.



  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent.

  2. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the butter and oil mixture.

  3. Add the white wine, and stir continually over medium heat until it is absorbed.

  4. Start to add 1/2 cup of hot broth and tomato mixture, stirring as it is absorbed.

  5. Continue in this manner, adding ladles full of hot broth, and stirring continuously for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked, but remains slightly firm to the teeth.

  6. Stir in the grated cheese and basil and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Refrigerate risotto, covered, for 8 hours, or overnight.

  8. Place the flour in one shallow bowl, the eggs and milk in another, and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl.

  9. Take a small handful of the rice and place it in your palm creating an indentation in the center.

  10. Place a piece of cheese in the center, and wrap the rice around the cheese creating an oblong shape as shown in the photos.

  11. Continue to use up all the rice, in the same manner, making more arancini, placing the finished ones on a baking sheet.

  12. Take each rice ball and first roll in flour, then dip into the egg mixture, and finally roll in breadcrumbs.

  13. Return to the baking sheet, and continue to coat the remaining rice balls in the same manner.

  14. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan to 375 degrees F 180° C. Fry 3 or 4 rice balls at a time until crisp and golden brown.

  15. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil, and place it on a tray covered in paper towels in a warm oven. Continue to fry the remaining rice balls in the same fashion, then serve hot.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 643kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g50%
Saturated Fat 13g65%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 121mg41%
Sodium 1362mg57%
Total Carbohydrate 61g21%
Dietary Fiber 4g16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 24g48%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Recipe Card powered by Delicious Recipes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *