Supplì, the perfect “empty-fridge” challenge.
Italians reduce food waste by 25 percent, and this is how we celebrate

Last September 29 was International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day. Inaugurated in 2020, the anniversary aims to raise awareness of the importance of reducing food waste to improve the health of the planet and contribute to the transformation of agrifood systems. On this occasion, it was
the survey
Cross Country Report 2023 – Food & Waste around the World.
, according to which, compared to the summer of 2002, Italians have reduced food waste by 25 percent. This is encouraging news, which we decided to celebrate by offering you an “empty-fridge” recipe taken from the Roman and Lazio culinary tradition: the Supplì.

To prepare them you need a rice that releases a good amount of starch: some recommend risotto types, such as Carnaroli and Arborio, those who prefer Roma, Ribe and Originario. The rice should not be uncooked – watch out for the “mush” effect. In the classic recipe is seasoned with meat sauce or “fake”, but today it is made in many other variations: amatriciana, gricia, cacio e pepe, carbonara, alla ‘nduja, alla cicoria, alla pescatora … so give way to creativity!

Supplì are a good solution for not wasting leftovers; in this regard, we would like to remind you that the safest way to store rice is to store it inside an airtight container, place it in the refrigerator within an hour of cooking and consume it within two days if seasoned, within three to four days if unseasoned. Fire up the stove and let the challenge begin!

Supplì on the phone

The name “Supplì” comes from the expression “
en suprise
“, by which all kinds of croquettes covered with breadcrumbs are referred to in French cuisine. The rustic dish is also known as the “Supplì on the phone”, because tradition dictates that you eat it by opening it in two, so that the melted mozzarella cheese inside creates a thread between the two halves, making the croquette resemble a telephone.

But how do you prepare Supplì? The process is quite simple but requires some manual dexterity and at least an hour’s time-excluding the cooling time of the rice. Let’s look together at the ingredients and all the steps to prepare about 20 Supplì.


– 500 g rice;

– 400 g of tomato puree;

– 150 g mince for meat sauce-usually beef is used, but in the spirit of the challenge, any type you already have will do;

– ½ onion for sautéing;

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil;

– vegetable broth;

– ½ glass of white wine (about 100 ml);

– a knob of butter;

– 4 whole eggs;

– grated cheese – pecorino romano or parmesan cheese;

– 200 grams of mozzarella cheese;

– breadcrumbs (preferably not too fine);

– flour (optional);

– fine salt to taste;

– black pepper to taste;

– Plenty of peanut oil for frying.


Chop the onion, place it in a pan with theoil and the mince; let it brown and then deglaze with wine over high heat; when it has evaporated, pour in the passata, add salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Meanwhile, beat 2 of the 4 eggs. Add the rice to the sauce and cook it over low heat without a lid, turning it often and pouring in the broth little by little, until cooked al dente-the mixture should be creamy but not liquid. Taste for salt and, if necessary, add it only at the end. Turn off the heat and add the nut of butter, the grated cheese and the beaten eggs, mixing well until amalgamate everything. Put it on a plate, spread it out, and let it cool. In case your rice is already ready, you can skip the first steps and use the leftovers to create the mixture with butter, cheese and eggs, so you can make your own version of the recipe-the important thing is that it is not overcooked, or your supplì will not be firm enough to hold.

While you wait, beat the remaining 2 eggs and cut the mozzarella into small pieces (cubes or strips)-if it is very watery, drain it or wring it out with a tea towel. When the rice is completely cold, form your Supplì: wet your hands, take some of the mixture and give it an oval shape; then insert one or two pieces of mozzarella cheese in the center and close the oval by rolling it in his hands. Once Supplì is made, Dip them in beaten eggs and then in breadcrumbs, creating a compact, thick and homogeneous breadcrumbs. In some versions of the recipe, the Supplì are also dipped in flour before this step; we leave the choice up to you.

Then, take a small, tall pot – or a deep frying pan with an attached basket or deep fryer – and fill it with peanut seed oil; bring the oil to a temperature of 180° and dip in it 2 at a time i Supplì. It is important that they float! Fry by turning them several times Until the breadcrumbs become more than golden brown (But not too dark, or the mozzarella will not spin). For those who do not like fried food, it appears that Supplì can also be baked in the oven at a temperature of 180° for 30 minutes-better if in a buttered baking dish. As they are ready, put the Supplì to drain on paper towels. Serve them hot and don’t forget to check that they are “on the phone.” there is no greater satisfaction than seeing the mozzarella spinning between the two halves. Enjoy your meal!