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Roasted tomato sauce is a winner with this and if you make them small enough they’re a nice canapé with pre dinner drinks. Mozzarella is the best to use but try experimenting with your favourite cheeses. Also if you have left over risotto, you can use that instead of the plain Arborio.


  • Cooked Arborio rice, about 5 cups cooked

  • Breadcrumbs, home made if you can

  • Olive oil

  • 500gm Mozzarella cheese

  • Fresh basil

  • White wine, dry

  • Fresh garden peas, optional

  • Plain flour

  • 2 beaten eggs

  • Oil for frying


  • 1.

    Cook the rice as per usual but replace one third of the water for wine, when cooked and drained taste it and add salt and pepper until you’re happy, put aside to cool. Get all your other ingredients in front of and you ready. Take a twenty-cent piece size of mozzarella and put a leaf of basil on it. Get a cupped handful of rice, flatten out, put the moz and basil in and shape the rice around to fully enclose it. Do this until you’ve used up the rice. If the rice balls are crumbling a bit wet your hands and roll them again or pop them in the fridge to chill for half an hour. Get your oil on for frying.

  • 2.

    Now it’s a matter of crumbing, roll them in the flour, then the beaten egg then the breadcrumbs. Put them in the fridge if frying later or fry them straight away. Cook until golden brown and put on paper towel to drain. Serve while hot with a nice relish or sweet chutney, a tossed salad wouldn’t go astray either.

  • 3.

    If you want to add peas to the rice mixture, wait until the rice is almost done and throw them in the water. They’ll cook properly and stick nicely with the starchy Arborio.

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