Simmer the rice in the milk until it's quite done, then stir in the sugar, lemon zest, and butter and let cool.
Separate the eggs and whip the whites to soft peaks. Stir the yolks and the rum or wine into the rice mixture, then fold in the egg whites, flour and baking powder. Drop the batter a teaspoon at a time into hot oil and fry the frittelle until they are a rich golden brown. Drain them on absorbent paper, and when they have cooled dust them with confectioner's sugar.
Enjoy, and happy Easter!
This recipe is based on Pellegrino Artusi's, from The Art of Eating Well
© Kyle Phillips, 1996
Kyle Phillips's translation of Pellegrino Artusi's La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, the first really successful Italian cookbook aimed at non-professionals (it came out in 1891, and the 10th edition, from 1910, is still selling briskly), has just come out from Random House. It is entitled The Art of Eating Well.