|For the Filling|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|1||small onion, very finely chopped|
|1||garlic clove, finely chopped|
|8||ounces ground beef|
|1½||cups chopped canned Italian|
|Salt and freshly ground pepper|
|½||cup frozen peas|
|For the Rice|
|5||cups chicken broth [or stock]|
|½||teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled|
|2||cups (1 pound) medium-grain rice,|
|such as Arborio|
|½||cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano|
|½||cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano|
|4||large egg yolks|
|5||large egg whites|
|2||cups plain bread crumbs|
|Flour for dredging|
|4||ounces sharp provolone,|
|cut into small dice|
|Vegetable oil for deep-frying|
To make the filling, put the oil, onion and garlic in a medium skillet, turn on the heat to medium, and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the beef to the skillet and cook, stirring to break up the lumps, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.
Add the peas and cook 5 minutes more. Let cool.
To make the rice, bring the broth and saffron to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the rice, butter, and salt to taste. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes.
Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Let cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks.
To assemble, beat the egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Spread the bread crumbs on one sheet of wax paper and the flour on another.
Place a cake rack over a baking sheet.
Dip your hands in cool water, to prevent the rice from sticking. Scoop up about 1/3 cup of the rice mixture and place it in the palm of one hand.
Poke a shallow hole in the center of the rice. Press about 1 tablespoon of the filling into the hole and top it with a piece of provolone. Cup your hand slightly, molding the rice over the filling to enclose it completely. Add a little more rice if necessary to cover the filling completely.
Very gently squeeze the ball together to compact the rice.
Carefully roll the rice ball in the flour, then in the egg whites to coat it completely. Roll the ball in the bread crumbs, being sure not to leave any spots uncovered.
Place the rice ball on the cake rack to dry. Continue
making rice balls with the remaining ingredients, rinsing your hands between each. When all of the rice balls have been made, place the rack in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to dry.
Pour about 3 inches of oil into an electric deep-fryer or a deep heavy saucepan. Heat the oil until the temperature reaches 375 degrees F on deep-frying thermometer, or a drop of egg white sizzle when it is added to the oil. With a slotted spoon or skimmer, lower a few rice balls at a
time into the hot oil; do not crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown and crisp all over, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the rice balls to paper towels to drain. Keep the cooked rice balls warm in a low oven while you fry
the remainder. Serve hot or warm.