• Known as one of Italy’s favourite street foods, suppli are Roman snacks made from rice, tomato sauce and egg. These suppli with artichokes and sun-dried tomato pesto are the creation of Paul Sheppard, owner of Mount Edgecombe eatery Marco Paulo in KZN. Delicious and full of flavour, they’re unusual but certainly worth a try! 

    Suppli with artichokes and sun-dried tomato pesto

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins


    • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive/avocado oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 50g Arborio rice
    • 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
    • 1 litre vegetable stock, hot
    • 150g Fontina cheese, grated
    • 125ml (½ cup) cake flour
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 240g (4 cups) breadcrumbs
    • 4 large eggs, beaten
    • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
    • fresh rocket, to serve
    • 80ml (1/3 cup) readymade sun-dried tomato pesto
    • 6 marinated artichoke hearts, finely sliced
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) balsamic vinegar reduction
    • Parmesan, freshly grated, to serve



    Heat the butter and oil in a large pan over medium and sweat the onion until soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat well. Cook until the rice begins to go translucent, about 2 minutes.


    Increase the heat slightly and add the wine. Stir until the liquid has been absorbed, then add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring continuously, making sure that each ladle has been absorbed before adding the next one. By the time all the stock has been absorbed, the should be cooked but al dente.


    Spread the risotto on a baking tray and allow to cool before refrigerating until chilled, for about 20 minutes.


    Mix the Fontina evenly with the risotto. Roll the mixture into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball and flatten gently into discs.


    Season the flour and place it in a dish. Place the beaten egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dip each risotto ball in the seasoned flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and deep-fry the suppli in small batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.


    Arrange the suppli on a bed of rocket, topped with a spoonful of the pesto and a few slices of artichoke. Drizzle over the balsamic, sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve warm.


    To drink: Franschhoek Cellars Unwooded Chardonnay, bright and minerally.