2 T. butter
¼ cup chopped onion
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup grated Romano cheese
½ cup peas
1 large egg
¼ cup bread crumbs
pinch of salt and pepper
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into ½” cubes + 2 T. chopped ham (optional)
2-3 cups fine bread crumbs
2-3 cups canola or vegetable oil

In medium saucepan, heat butter and sauté onion until soft. Add rice, stir well. Add broth, one cup at a time, stirring until broth is absorbed. After 15-20 minutes, rice should be tender.

Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl, and add tomato sauce, cheese, peas, egg and ¼ cup bread crumbs.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Scoop about 2 tablespoons rice mixture in left hand, make a “well” in center, add a cube of mozzarella, some ham, top with more rice to form a ball about 2” in diameter. Roll in dried bread crumbs.

Place on platter and continue to make rice balls until all rice is used. Heat oil to 375 degrees and fry balls, 2 at a time until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove with slotted spoon to paper line plate. Serve immediately. Makes about 12-15 balls.

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