Ingredients: Per 6 servings
- 7 oz Rice
- 3 ½ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 4 eggs
- breadcrumbs to taste
- frying oil to taste
- all-purpose flour to taste
- 2 cups milk
- salt to taste
- lemon zest, grated to taste
In a pot, heat the milk with a pinch of salt. Once it reaches a boil, add the rice and cook until it has thickened and absorbed all the milk.
Then, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the grated lemon peel and grated cheese.
Once cool, add 3 egg yolks and mix well. Then whip the 3 egg whites using a whisk. Once they form stiff peaks, fold the egg whites into the rice mixture.
Beat the remaining egg in a bowl.
Shape the rice into small balls the size of walnuts or the size you prefer. Cover in flour and then in the egg wash and finally in the breadcrumbs.
Fry the rice balls in a pan with boiling oil, making sure that they are totally immersed in the oil. When golden, remove using a skimmer and place on paper towels.
Serve piping hot.
Rice is a grain of ancient and uncertain origin. According to the most trustworthy sources, it seems as though the oldest varieties were found 15,000 years in the Himalayas. Rice was brought to Europe for the first time during the reign of Alexander the Great.
During ancient times in Europe, however, rice was very expensive and was used to make medicines and cosmetics, rather than as food. With the Arab invasions of Europe in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D, rice was introduced as a food to Spain and Sicily, where it became a part of the European diet. At the very beginning, it was used as a spice, rather than the main ingredient of a dish, due to its restrictive cost.
In Italy, rice was first cultivated around the 15th century and spread across Northern Italy during the beginning of the 16th, especially in Piemonte and Lombardia.
Thanks to its high yield and local cultivation, over the course of a couple of decades rice became a commonplace ingredient. In Northern Italy, rice became known as the food of farmers and was no longer consumed by the nobles.
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