Deep fried Sicilian stuffed rice balls coated in breadcrumbs make the perfect bite-sized snack. Arancini have been a feature of southern Italian cuisine for centuries, with fillings and shapes varying from region to region. The most popular fillings are meat, peas, Prosciutto and cheese. This is also a great way to use up leftover risotto.

Categories: Sides & Salads, Starters

Serves: Makes 18 Preparation time: 45 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes



For the Risotto

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, (about 125g), woody stems removed
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  • 2 tbsp Filippo Berio Mild & Light in Colour Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 100g broad beans, blanched and podded
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 30g freshly chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 150g ball mozzarella, cut into 18 small cubes
  • alt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Coating

  • 150g plain flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 150g fine dried breadcrumbs
  • Filippo Berio Mild & Light in Colour Olive Oil for deep frying


  1. Finely chop the asparagus, leaving the tips whole. Cook in a saucepan of simmering water for 2 minutes, until al dente. Drain, reserving the water. Pour this water over the stock cube and dissolve, add boiling water to make up to 900ml and stir.
  2. Meanwhile heat the Filippo Berio Mild & Light Olive Oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the rice, increase the temperature and cook for 1 minute until the grains are coated in the oil and onion mixture.
  3. Pour in the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until absorbed. Gradually add the hot stock, 125ml at a time, stirring constantly until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Cook for about 15 minutes so that the stock has been absorbed and the rice is creamy, but firm.
  4. Stir in the broad beans, asparagus tips and stalks and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, mint, parsley, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Spread the risotto into a lipped tray and leave to cool to room temperature.
  6. Scoop the cooled risotto into 18 equal portions, slightly larger than a golf ball. Flatten a risotto ball in your hand and put a piece of the mozzarella in the centre, enclose the cheese in the rice and roll it into a ball. Repeat.
  7. Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Dip each prepared risotto ball into the flour, followed by the eggs and then breadcrumbs. Transfer to a tray and set aside.
  8. Half-fill a large, heavy-based saucepan with the Filippo Berio Mild & Light Olive Oil and heat over medium-low until it reads 170ºC on a cooking thermometer or until a piece of bread turns golden brown in the oil within 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, lower the risotto balls into the oil in batches and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown. Set aside on a tray lined with kitchen roll.

Cook with:

Mild & Light In Colour Olive Oil

This Olive Oil is a healthy substitute for other cooking oils. With its high smoke point it is the ideal choice for frying, stir-frying and baking. The light bouquet allows the natural flavour of food to come through.

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