Called suppli in Italy, these little rice croquettes are based on a classic risotto mixture, which is moulded round nuggets of mozzarella and rolled in breadcrumbs before cooking. It's a great way to use up leftover risotto. Traditionally the croquettes are deep-fried, but here they are baked for a modern streamlined version.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
Stuff a small leaf of fresh basil or sage in the centre of each croquette with the mozzarella. * Turn this into a lunch dish for 3 or 4 simply by serving the croquettes with a well-flavoured tomato or red pepper sauce spooned over, and a crisp salad alongside. * Although mozzarella is the traditional cheese to use, cubes of creamy, blue-veined Dolcelatte, Brie, Camembert or taleggio cheeses could all be substituted. * Make rice croquettes with chorizo. Cook the risotto as in the main recipe, but add 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage or 2 tsp dried sage instead of the Parmesan. Cut a 65 g chorizo sausage into 8 slices and fry in a dry pan for 5 minutes or until crisp. Drain well on kitchen paper. Stuff each croquette with a slice of chorizo instead of the mozzarella cubes. Serve the croquettes on a bed of rocket leaves and scatter over a few halved cherry tomatoes to garnish.
Mozzarella cheese is lower in fat than many other cheese – Cheddar cheese has on average 34.4 g fat per 100 g (3½ oz), whereas the same weight of mozzarella cheese contains 21 g fat. * Raw spinach is a good source of beta-carotene and provides vitamin C and E, all of which are antioxidants that help to protect against heart disease, strokes and cancer.
A, B12, calcium, zinc * B1, B2, C, folate, niacin, copper, iron, potassium, selenium