Margherita risotto balls

Margherita risotto balls

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(1 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes 12

These deep-fried, arancini patties, made with tomato arborio rice, have moreish melting mozzarella cheese middles.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per ball

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 500ml passata
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300g arborio rice
  • small glass of white wine
  • 25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
  • knob of butter
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped basil
  • 125g ball mozzarella, cut into 12 pieces
  • 75g seasoned flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 125g pack dried breadcrumbs
  • 1½ l oil, for deep-frying
  • rocket, to serve

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  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion, cover and sweat until soft. In another pan, mix the passata and stock, and warm over a low heat.
  2. Add the garlic to the onion, cook for 30 secs, then tip in the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Increase the heat, pour in the wine and let it simmer until absorbed. Keeping the pan over a medium heat, start adding the tomato stock mixture to the rice a ladleful at a time, letting the rice absorb most of the liquid after each addition. Keep stirring as you go, adding liquid until the rice is al dente – you may not need all the liquid. You don’t want this to be as wet as a normal risotto, so keep cooking until your wooden spoon can stand up in it. Turn off the heat, stir through the Parmesan, butter and basil, then cover for 5 mins. Season and tip onto a tray to cool completely, then chill until firm.
  3. Shape the risotto into 12 large balls. Make a hole in the centre with your finger and stuff in a piece of mozzarella, then reshape into a ball. Now start a little production line, dipping the balls in the flour, then the egg and coating with the breadcrumbs – then chill for 30 mins.
  4. Heat the oil to 160C in a large deep saucepan and heat the oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4. Deep-fry the risotto balls for 8-10 mins – you’ll need to do this in batches. Drain on kitchen paper, then transfer to a tray and pop in the oven for 6-8 mins to make sure the mozzarella is completely melted. Sprinkle with salt, then leave to cool for a few moments before tucking in. Serve with some dressed rocket.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2013

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piperwilson's picture

Very tasty but not very fast thing to make! Made my risotto balls and left them to chill overnight before frying. I chopped the fresh basil very roughly and left it all quite large, flavour seemed to come through. Makes so much, i've got some chilling to be put in the freezer. Missed out heating them in the oven as this is how i'll re-heat them.

russbarton's picture

This is a very good recipe, it takes a little time to prepare but is well worth it. The only thing is that the basil doesn't really add anything to the flavour. I used more than the recipe recommends but still couldn't taste it. We will be experimenting with other fillings in the future. Because we could eat all the balls (and they are big!) we cooked them to the last part of the method (finishing them off in the oven) then left them to chill fully and froze them. I think they should be okay.