Mozzarella-Filled Rice (Risotto) Balls

"A lovely starter or great finger food for a buffet. Makes a great meal served with garlic bread and salad. Definitely worth making for its own sake, but is also a great way to use up leftover risotto. This originally came from the Good Housekeeping Vegetarian book."
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Ready In:
12-16 balls




  • Begin by making a basic white risotto. Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan, and fry the onion for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the white wine and boil rapidly until most of the liquid is gone.
  • Add the rice, and stir to coat with the onion and wine.
  • One ladle at a time, add the stock, and simmer until almost completely absorbed (keep an eye on this - it'll stick to the bottom of your pan like nobody's business!).
  • Continue until the rice has been cooking for ~20 minutes and it is soft and creamy but still has a little bit of bite to it.
  • Season generously (if you can't find fresh Basil then at this point stir in a healthy portion of dried Basil or Mixed Herbs) and add the parmesan.
  • Stir in the beaten egg (If you're making a big batch and planning to eat some, then obviously do this after you've taken out tonight's meal!)
  • Allow to cool completely (ideally overnight - but half an hour in the fridge should do it. It's just easier to handle when completely cold).
  • Spoon 1tbsp of the risotto into the palm of your hand.
  • Place a basil leaf and a piece of mozzarella - about half an inch across - on top of the rice.
  • Add another spoon of risotto and shape into a smooth ball.
  • Roll the ball in breadcrumbs until evenly covered.
  • Heat a pan of oil (use the smallest pan you have available to minimise wastage) until it is smoking hot and then fry the balls, a few at a time, for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Tea Girl
    The recipe was very tasty, but I had a hard time with them falling apart, usually in the pan. I think next time I will cut back on the egg as that I think the problem was they were too moist, perhaps I should have used smaller eggs. The recipe for the risotto alone was wonderful and I think I would use it sometime when I am just making risotto. I served this with salad as a dinner. Made for PAC Spring 2010.


I'm a young scientist in the UK who is facing the new challenge of life without a kitchen. My family comes from Yorkshire, so my talents lie in anything batter-based (Yorkshire puddings, pancakes etc). I'm a pescetarian (sea food only) but still love to try new things and experiment.
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