This is a flavourful alternative to plain rice and makes a meal much more interesting. Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish.
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 cups hot vegetable stock
- 1⁄2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 10 large basil leaves
- 1⁄3 cup rehydrated sun-dried tomato, finely diced
For the tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 cups passata (tomato puree)
- grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Pour the stock into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the rice, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the basil leaves. Finely dice the yellow pepper. Peel and finely dice the onion. Set aside, keeping the basil separate from the onion and pepper.
- When the rice is done, uncover it and put the whole pan in a sink of cold water to cool the rice.
- While the rice cools, put the olive oil and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the yellow pepper and garlic. Cook around 5 minutes, until soft.
- Add the passata to the skillet with the onion and pepper. Turn the heat to low. Give the passata mixture a chance to simmer and thicken slightly.
- While it simmers, make the rice balls- add the cheese, egg yolk, flour, tomato paste, basil leaves and sundried tomatoes to the cooled rice. Stir it together well.
- Shape the rice mixture into about 16 balls and place them on top of the sauce. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, until the rice balls are cooked through.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with parmesan cheese if desired.