Have you ever eaten a risotto ball? If not, you’re missing out. I can’t really call this a recipe because it takes leftovers, rolls them in breadcrumbs and turns them into something very very moreish. In this case, broad bean and mint risotto balls (arancini) stuffed with cheese and baked until crispy.
Ingredients: for 6 balls, serves 2
- 200g leftover risotto – any flavour will work and it doesn’t matter if you have more/less, just adjust the quantity of breadcrumbs accordingly
- 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- Mature cheddar or mozzarella cut into 2cm cubes – 1 cube for each ball
- Cooking oil
1. Preheat oven
Preheat your oven and a baking tray to 200c.
2. Leftover risotto
You could make fresh risotto but leftover risotto is better because it’s thick and starchy and the flavours have developed overnight. Leave it on the side for a few minutes to take the chill off.
3. Shape into balls
Divide your risotto into 6 and shape into balls about 4cm wide. Don’t worry about rolling them into perfect shapes just yet.
4. Make a hole
Squidge your thumb into the middle of each ball to make a hole for the cheese.
5. Stuff with cheese
Cut mature cheddar (or mozzerella) into 1-2cm cubes and put in the hole*. Pinch the hole shut and roll the risotto into an evenly shaped ball making sure the cheese is covered.
* I generally eat one piece of cheese for each one I put into the holes!
6. Roll in flour
Coat your risotto ball in a thin layer of flour.
7. Dip in egg
Dip in beaten egg and make sure all the flour is covered.
8. Roll in breadcrumbs
Then roll in breadcrumbs. Homemade are best! If you want to make your own I’ve put a quick how to at the bottom of this post.
9. Oven bake
Brush a thin layer of oil onto your preheated baking tray, roll the balls in it and bake for 20 mins. Make sure they are piping hot.
Ta-dah! Cheese stuffed risotto balls
This is what your little bites of heaven will look like. Crispy breadcrumbs and soft risotto with an oozing pocket of cheese in the middle. Yum!
They’re tasty on their own but especially delicious with a simple salad.
The broad bean and mint version is definitely our favourite. The recipe I used was from BBC Good Food – I reduced the amount of parmesan and added some grated courgette and lemon juice. The balls are baked rather than fried to make them a little healthier.
How to make homemade breadcrumbs
- Put day old bread in a food processor
- Blend into fine crumbs
- Add a little salt and pepper
- Dry pan fry for a few minutes until the crumbs are golden and sound like grains of sand on the bottom on the pan when stirred