Sunday, October 11, 2009

Testaccio Roman Cuisine - Opening October 24th

Image by Testaccio Restaurant

Nearly four months have passed since I first found out about Testaccio at the Taste of LIC event, in which they featured a delicious appetizer of figs topped with mascarpone cheese and pine nuts. It was such a nice, light take on Italian fare that it captured my attention and I've been watching its progress ever since--impatiently waiting for it to open. Happily that time has come, as Testaccio is scheduled to open in less than two weeks on October 24th.

Through their newsletter, I got a preview of delicious things that are yet to come. Testaccio's menu will focus on contemporary Roman food - a modern take on Italian cuisine if you will. They've certainly whet my appetite, especially by revealing an interesting recipe for a dish with a playful name, suppli di riso al telefono (rice croquettes "on the phone"). Why on the phone? Read on to find out...

Testaccio's Suppli di Riso Al Telefono
They' re called "al telefono" because when you bite into them, the melted mozzarella creates a "string" similar to that of a telephone cable. This is a great dish that can be prepared in bulk and placed in the freezer for later use.

Ingredients (makes 20)
2 cups carnaroli rice
1 onion, chopped
7 spoonfuls of unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoon of parmigiano cheese
1-2 sprigs of parsley, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
Olive oil
1 tablespoon shelled green peas, fresh or frozen
2 slices prosciutto cotto or cured ham, finely diced
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
3 eggs, beaten
Breadcrumbs to roll the suppli in

Sauté the onions in a pan with olive oil and butter until lightly browned. Add the rice, toasting it for a few minutes - make sure not to burn the grains. Pour the wine over the rice and let evaporate. Once evaporated add broth and cover. Cook for 14 minutes, add broth when necessary and stir continuously. Add salt to taste.

Meanwhile fry the tomato in olive oil until the pulp reaches the consistency of sauce. When the rice is "al dente," incorporate the sweet peas, tomatoes and prosciutto. Finish the rice mixture with butter, parmigiano cheese and parsley, then stir until it becomes creamy.

Pour the mixture onto a flat baking sheet and let cool. Scoop a handful of rice and roll it into an oval shape about the size of a golf ball. Poke a hole in the middle of each suppli with your fingertip and insert a piece of mozzarella inside, sealing the hole with rice. Repeat.

Dip the suppli in the egg mixture, and then dredge in breadcrumbs. In a deep pan, heat olive oil and fry the suppli gently until they are crispy and golden. Drain and serve hot or at room temperature.

Testaccio - 47-30 Vernon Boulevard, LIC NY 11101
7 Train to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue


  1. I would recommend using arborio rice, as it's really the best for risotto and the only type of rice that Italians will use for this dish...also, it's readily available in most supermarkets.

  2. Good suggestion, thanks!

  3. Rivkah: very good point about the greatest availability of the arborio rice in local market. I have to disagree about the quality itself compared to carnaroli. The second one together with vialone nano are considered the best quality (and most expensive) rice for risotto. In fact carnaroli takes a little longer to be done and stays "al dente" easily, makeing it the best choice for recipes that require reheating like this.
    But at the end it is all matter of personal taste and it is worthed to try all kinds of rices and explore new textures.

  4. Ivan the Red: Thanks for your input, and perhaps I should have rephrased my comment to say that arborio is the only type of rice that Italians (in the lower income brackets) will use --- sort of the proletariat of rices. So while I do agree that caranoli is of a higher quality (i.e. more expensive), arborio is a much more multi-purpose and affordable rice. Also, I don't think I have ever given this much thought to rice before.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...