Serves 4 to 6 people
6 cups pre-cooked rice (leftover risotto works well or even leftover plain rice from take-out)
2 eggs, plus 4 eggs separated
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for grating
Pinch of red chile flakes, plus more to taste
1 bunch mint coarsely chopped, leaves and stems and all, 2 tablespoons reserved for garnish
1 pound Caciocavallo cheese, rind removed and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 cup flour for dredging
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs for coating
Extra-virgin olive oil for frying
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Place the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks. Then mix in pecorino, sea salt, chile flakes and mint. Set the egg whites aside.
After ingredients are thoroughly mixed, form into 2.5 inch to 3 inch diameter balls, filling center of balls with several pieces of caciocavallo cheese (or any other filling of your choosing).
In each of 3 shallow bowls, place flour, egg whites and fresh breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg whites briefly to loosen them. Roll each ball first in flour, then in egg whites, then in breadcrumbs. Place balls on a tray, and refrigerate uncovered for one hour.
Heat 4 inches of olive oil in a deep fryer or a pot to 375 degrees F. Be careful to never fill pot above two thirds full.
Carefully place 3 balls at a time into pot and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir occasionally with a kitchen spoon to keep them moving.
Using a spider or a slotted spoon, drain cooked balls on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature. Finish with grated pecorino cheese, chile flakes and mint.