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Playing Phyllis Fatone's Italian Rice Balls


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups olive oil


Serves: about 24 rice balls


In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, parsley, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover mixture and refrigerate.

Pour water and remaining teaspoon salt into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and reduce heat to low. Cook rice until water is almost absorbed, about 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly pour in egg mixture, stirring rapidly to prevent egg from scrambling. Allow rice mixture to cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Pour breadcrumbs into a pile on one end of a cutting board. Dampen hands and roll rice mixture into 1-inch balls. Coat each one with breadcrumbs.

In a small deep skillet, heat olive oil to 350F (make sure the oil will cover the rice balls). Fry rice balls 6 at a time, turning as needed to ensure even browning. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.