TASTE / From Risotto to Arancini

Following on from the last cooking evening at Olive and Rosy with the theme of cold rice and pasta, I thought I would add a recipe for Arancini as this was one dish we didn’t have time to cover on this occasion.

Originating from Sicily in the 10th century, the name translates as "little orange", deriving from their similarity in shape and colour after cooking. As always there are regional variations across the island, in both flavour and shape, with fillings including ragu, cheese, peas, ham, mushrooms or aubergine.

italian recipe, risotto,

For many years I was a little nervous of making arancini, due to the reheating of rice element, however Stefano has reassured and convinced me over the years. And they really are a great dish for using up risotto and ensuring no food waste. A couple of food safety tips to bear in mind if you have similar uncertainty, are to cool the risotto rice quickly and chill overnight in the fridge. Also, when making up the balls keep them small to ensure they will be well heated through.

I’ve based this recipe on one I found on the Love Food, Hate Waste website by Masterchef contestant Imran Nathoo. This is a rice only version, using up a mushroom risotto. For a more typical mozzarella filling try this one.

It takes around 20 - 30 minutes and serves 2 but this all depends on how much left-over risotto you have of course!


Portion/s of leftover risotto

2 end slices of bread (stale bread works better)

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 egg

Half a cup of plain flour

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 litre of oil for deep frying


1.Blitz the end slices of the bread with the leaves of two rosemary sprigs to a fine crumb. It makes lots so keep any you don’t use in an air-tight container for another dish.