Arancini Balls

These moreish gooey balls of mozerella goodness have the added bonus of prosciutto and buttery piquante pepper sauce. They make a perfect addition to finger food entertaining, an appetizer for guests or a Sunday night meal with the family. Throw a salad in the mix and there you have it a versatile, tasty meal that noone could turn down.

Tips with Butter

Unsalted butter in your baking is the best way to start. If you feel it needs a pinch of salt, you can add it later.


300gm Arborio rice
40gm butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ onion, finely chopped
½ c white wine
3-3 ½ c chicken or vegetable stock, hot

2T fresh herbs, chopped
50gm parmesan, grated
30gm butter
1t lemon zest
Salt and pepper

100gm grated mozzarella
4 slices prosciutto, diced
15 fresh basil leaves

1 large egg, beaten
3 or 4 slices white bread
handful fresh parsley
½ c flour
Rice bran oil to deep fry

Piquante sauce:
30gm butter
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
100gm piquante peppers, mild or hot, drained
200ml tomato puree
2t lemon juice
Salt and pepper


To make the risotto:

Melt the butter in a frypan and add the onion and garlic and saute until softened.
Add the rice and stir well to coat the rice and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the white wine and stir until the wine is reduced.
Add the stock 1 cup at a time stirring continuously until it has all been absorbed before adding another cup.
After 15-20 minutes cooking time and 3 cups of stock have been absorbed, taste the rice. It should be soft but have a slight hint of nuttiness in the centre. If it’s not quite ready add a little more stock and check again after a few minutes when the stock has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan, butter, herbs, zest and season. Set aside to cool.

Combine the filling ingredients and mix together in a bowl.
Prepare the coating by making the breadcrumbs using a food processor to finely chop the bread and parsley together. Tip into a flat dish.
Put the flour into a flat dish and season.
To form the balls, dip your fingers into water and spoon about 2T of risotto onto your hand and press out to form a flat pancake shape.
Put a teaspoon of filling in the middle and mould the rice around the filling and squeeze gently to form a tight ball.
Roll the balls in the seasoned flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs

This mixture should make 12-15 balls.
Refrigerate until firm.
In a deep saucepan, heat the oil to 160 deg.
Carefully lower 4-5 balls into the hot oil at a time.
Use a thermometer to keep the oil at around 160deg so the cheese centre melts before the outside gets too brown.
Cook until golden brown, around 4-5 minutes.
Drain on paper towels.
Serve with a bowl of warm piquante sauce.

To make the piquante sauce:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and saute the onion and garlic until softened.
Add the peppers, puree and lemon juice.
Put the lid on and cook on a low heat for 20 mins.
Remove from the heat and pour into a sieve.
Press the sauce through the sieve using a ladle.
Discard the pepper skins and onion.
Season and keep warm until ready to serve.

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