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Ingredients

Method

  • STEP 1

    Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish over a low heat, and fry the onion with a pinch of salt for 10-12 mins, or until softened. Add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the rice and cook for a further minute.

  • STEP 2

    Pour in the tomatoes and half the stock, and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring continuously, until the stock is almost completely evaporated. Add the remaining stock, a ladle at a time, adding more when the previous addition is absorbed by the rice. Cook until the rice is al dente, about 15-20 mins.

  • STEP 3

    Stir in the parmesan and nduja, then spread the risotto out over a baking tray and leave to cool to room temperature.

  • STEP 4

    Scoop the cooled risotto into 20 even portions, slightly larger than a golf ball. Flatten one of the balls into a disc in your hand, put a piece of mozzarella in the centre, then enclose with the rice. Roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining risotto and mozzarella.

  • STEP 5

    Tip the flour, eggs and panko breadcrumbs into three separate shallow bowls. Roll each risotto ball in the flour, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Transfer the balls to a baking tray. Half-fill a large, heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil and heat over a medium-low heat to 170C, or until a piece of bread turns golden in the oil within 45 seconds. Carefully lower the risotto balls into the oil in batches, and fry each batch for 8-10 mins, or until golden brown and gooey in the centre. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Recipe tip

To freeze, make the recipe up to the end of step 3, then pack the risotto balls into a large food bag and freeze. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before deep-frying.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2021

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