Special equipment: A deep fryer with basket
Saute the onion, celery and carrot with the olive oil until translucent. Add the ground beef and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Once the beef is added, with a wooden spoon, break down any chunks; the beef should be as fine as possible. Add the tomato paste. Once the ground beef and tomato paste begin to simmer, turn down the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick, add a touch of water. Add the peas once cooked. Let cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the rice and stir until evenly coated with oil. Add the saffron and half of the chicken broth, stirring continually. Once the broth has been absorbed, continue to add small increments of broth, still stirring continually. Once all of the broth has been absorbed, add the Parmesan and pepper; the rice should be tender but "al dente." Pour the rice onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The rice should be able to form into a ball once cooled properly.
Take a handful of cooled rice, flatten while forming an indentation in middle of the ball. Take a teaspoon or so of the cooled meat mixture and a mozzarella cube and place in the indentation of rice. Take another half handful or so of rice and finish forming the rice ball. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until all the rice balls are formed. Combine the flour, 1 1/4 cups of warm water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Dip each of the rice balls in the flour mixture to evenly coat, then coat with plain bread crumbs. In a deep-fryer, fry the rice balls on medium to high heat until golden brown.
Recipe courtesy of Sabrina DiPasquale, owner of DiPasquale's, Baltimore, MD